Ātete (to resist)
14 November 2020 - 28 February 2021
Hone Papita Raukura ‘Ralph’ Hotere (Te Aupōuri) (1931–2013) ONZ was one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant artists. Born and raised in a large Catholic whānau near Mitimiti, Te Tai Tokerau Northland, Hotere left for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 1946, where he attended first boarding school and then Auckland Post-Primary Teachers’ College. In the early 1950s, Hotere’s teacher training focused on art, and he moved to Ōtepoti Dunedin as part of Gordon Tovey’s scheme to train specialist art advisers. In 1953 Hotere returned to Te Tai Tokerau Northland to work as a Māori arts and crafts adviser. There he began exhibiting his own work and establishing himself as part of a community of artists who would become key figures of their generation.
In 1961, supported by an Association of New Zealand Art Societies fellowship, Hotere left Aotearoa to study in London and travel across Europe. This experience expanded his view of the world and influenced his early paintings, drawings and sketches. Over the subsequent decades, Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout his own country and the world, focusing on place, family, tikanga Māori, art, culture, injustice, violence, love and faith.
Ātete (to resist) is shaped by a collective consideration of these journeys. From formal concerns, to political activism, to cultural, spiritual and material connection to place and people, Hotere’s work is shaped by a cycle of departure and return. At the heart of this exhibition, which creates meeting points between the major concerns of his art, lies a commitment to humanity, a political voice and a consistent and direct response to injustice in all its forms.
Drawn from institutions throughout Aotearoa, Ātete also emphasises the important position Hotere occupies in our nation’s public art collections; it includes some of the first public acquisitions of his work, key works from early exhibitions and milestone works that are now publicly owned. As the first large-scale Hotere exhibition to be presented for over two decades, Ātete reassesses the artist’s achievements, celebrates his dissenting voice and asserts his relevance to new generations of artists and audiences.
Ko Hone Papita Raukura ‘Ralph’ Hotere (Te Aupōuri) (1931–2013) ONZ tētahi o ō Aotearoa kaitoi nui taioreore. I whānau mai, i tupu mai ia i tētahi whānau Katorika e pātata ana ki Mitimiti i Te Tai Tokerau. I wehe atu ia ki Tāmaki Makaurau i te tau 1946, i reira i kuraina ki te kura noho, kātahi ia ka kuraina ki te Kura Kaiako ki Tāmaki. I te tīmataka o te tekau-tau 1950 i aro atu ai ā Hotere whakakuku hai kaiako ki te mahi toi, ā, i nuku atu ia ki Ōtepoti ki te kaupapa whakakuku kaiārahi toi o Gordon Tovey. I te tau 1953 i hoki a Hotere ki Te Tai Tokerau hai kaiārahi toi. I reira i tīmata ai ia ki te whakaatu atu i āhana ake mahi toi, ā, i whai wāhi ia ki tētahi hapori kaitoi ka mutu ko rātou kā tino kaitoi o tō rātou whakapaparaka.
I te tau 1961 i tautokona ia e te whakawhiwhika tūraka o te Manatōpū Toi o Aotearoa kia ako ai ia ki Rānana, ā, kia hīkoi hoki ia ki Uropi. I huakina tōhona ao e tēnei wheako, ā, ko kawea ēnei wheako ki āhana peita, ki āhana tuhika, ā, ki āhana tāka. I kā tekau-tau e heke mai i kitea āhana haereka ki tōhona ake whenua, ā, ki te ao hoki ki roto i āhana mahi toi tou, arā e aro atu ana ki te wāhi, ki tōhona whānau, ki te tikaka Māori, ki te mahi toi, ki te ahurea, ki te tūkino, ki te taikaha, ki te aroha, ā, ki te whakapono anō hoki.
I whai tinana a Ātete i te huika huatau ōhona i ēnei haereka, Mai ō Hotere māharahara ōkawa, ki āhana porotēhi, ki te honoka ā-tikaka, ā-wairua, ā-tinana ki te whenua, ki te takata hoki. Ko whaohia tā Hotere mahi ki te mataora o te weheka me te hokiaka. Kai te pūtahi o tēnei whakaaturaka, ka hui anō ai kā kaupapa matua o āhana mahi toi, e noho ana he ūtaka ā-manawa ki te ira takata, he reo porotēhi, me he urupareka ū tou, hākai tou ki te tūkino me ōhona tini āhua.
Ko tōia mai i kā tini whare toi i Aotearoa, ka whakapuaki a Ātete i te tūraka whakahirahira o Hotere ki kā kohika toi o te motu; ko ētahi o āhana hokoka tūmatawhānui tuatahi, he mea rakatira nā āhana whakaaturaka tuatahi, ā, me ētahi mahi rokonui rawa ko kapoa e te rika o te marea. Ko te wā tuatahi tēnei i te rua tekau tau ko pēnei te rahi o tētahi o ā Hotere whakaaturaka. He tirohaka hou a Ātete ki kā tutukihaka ōna, he whakanui i tana reo porotēhi, he whakatauka ki te oraka toutaka o āhana mahi ki te reaka hou, ki te huka whakamānawa hou o te mahi toi.
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Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist) is a partnership project between the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.
Exhibition partner in Dunedin
Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist) will also be shown at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū from 27 March to 25 July 2021.