Ralph Hotere

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1931, d.2013

lo NEGRO sobre lo ORO

  • Purchased, 1992
  • Reproduced by permission of the Hotere Foundation Trust
  • Lithograph
  • 720 x 530mm
  • 92/22:3-6
  • 1992

This church window, with its central motif of a bleeding heart, carries religious associations of sacrifice and emotional suffering. It has its source in Basque culture but is also a strong visual symbol found in Māori carving and carries echoes of the religious symbolism of Māori millennarian Christianity, which states Christ will reign on earth for a thousand years. The window has been a recurring theme in many of Hotere’s works and can be interpreted as a threshold between private and public, imagination and reality, the physical and the spiritual. Hotere was born in the far north of New Zealand. He first studied art in Dunedin but in 1961 won a scholarship to study at the Central School of Art in London. He subsequently won many awards. From the 1970s he lived at Port Chalmers, Dunedin, but in 1978 he travelled to France, Italy and Spain. Political and social issues feature strongly in Hotere’s work. He was one of New Zealand’s most senior Māori artists.