Ralph Hotere was widely recognised as one New Zealand's most significant artists and has been at the forefront of New Zealand art for over 30 years.
Hotere was born in Northland in 1939. He studied art in Dunedin then in England and Europe in the early 1960's. After returning to New Zealand he was based in and around Dunedin.
Hotere's social and environmental concerns were conveyed in several series of works including the "Polaris" series in response to nuclear threats and the "Aramoana" series regarding the environmental impact of an aluminium smelter in Dunedin.
Hotere descended from the Aupori tribe however he never used traditional Maori designs in his work. A strong interest in writing and poetry resulted in many collaborative works with poets Bill Manhire and Hone Tuwhare. He used a wide variety of materials in his work including canvas, hardboard, stainless steel and corrugated iron, to convey powerful messages.
Hotere was one of ten New Zealanders named in 2003 as "Icons" for a lifetime's services to the Arts. He passed away in 2013.
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