Ralph Hotere - Malady Panels
Poet, painter and commentator Greg O'Brien talks about Ralph Hotere's Malady Panels (1971).
Related reading: Ralph Hotere
A poem by Bill Manhire was the inspiration for this series of paintings. It repeated the words ‘malady’, ‘melody’ and ‘my lady’ and the repetition, simplicity and strong emotion of the poem appealed to Ralph Hotere. ‘Melody’ and ‘malady’ come together in ‘my lady’, suggesting that deep-felt love can be both a sickness and a delight.
The fine circles in the paintings suggest the fragility of love, and their intense colour celebrates its beauty. Hotere made several works based on this poem during the early 1970s.
Hotere was born in Taikarawa, Northland, and was widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s greatest living artists. He is represented in public and private collections throughout New Zealand. He lived at Port Chalmers near Dunedin.
Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist)
Ralph Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout Aotearoa and the world, reflecting on his experiences, identity and politics. As the first major survey exhibition of Hotere’s artistic career for over twenty years, Ātete celebrates his achievements and brings his vision to a new generation. It’s been a huge project to bring together so we thought it was timely to ask the four curators to tell us a little about their relationship with Hotere – how do they connect as individuals with the artist’s works, and the themes and the locations that they explore?