Shane Cotton was born in Upper Hutt in 1964 of Nga Puhi descent. He graduated from the University of Canterbury in 1988 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. In 1993 he joined the Department of Maori Visual Arts at Massey University and in 1998 was Francis Hogkins Fellow at the University of Otago.
His work has attained remarkable originality and maturity and is sparked by Cotton's interest in paintings made by naive Maori painters at the turn of the century. Drawing on so-called Maori Folk Art his early paintings were figurative and symbolic, however he also uses references from his own time.
New work by Cotton is more stark and features a series of images including bullseye targets, birds and mokomokai (Maori heads) on clean, contrasting canvases.
His work has featured in many exhibitions in New Zealand and Australia and is represented in many private and public collections. Although relatively young, Cotton's work was recently featured in a retrospective exhibition at the Auckland Art Gallery. He is considered one of New Zealand's leading Maori artists
*Click on image to enlarge