Collection News

Ralph Hotere 1931-2013

Chartwell Collection - Ralph Hotere 'The Flight of the Godwit (Godwit/Kuaka)'

It was with much sadness that the Chartwell Trust learnt of the passing of Ralph Hotere in Dunedin. Hotere was a hugely respected artist and greatly valued for his outstanding contribution to the New Zealand culture.  His life- long and deeply felt engagement with materials as well as with social/political issues established him as a maker and master of artworks of enormous importance to our cultural identity as New Zealanders. His mural, The Flight of the Godwit (Godwit/Kuaka), in our Collection at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, is a much admired work of which we are most proud and which will forever celebrate his creative spirit and its connection with our place. It not only expresses the notion of travelling, be it by a little godwit, by people to and from Aotearoa or by the spirit undertaking a mysterious journey, but also expresses the joy of pulsating colour, musicality and the strength gained from song and poetry. Time is depicted in the work as viewers quite literally walk past its many panels- and that multi-directional journeying through time is pulled together by the gravitas of the dark circular forms at its very centre. “Scattering, gathering, forming a single unit...” the sense of journeying continues.

Image: The Flight of the Godwit (Godwit/Kuaka), 1977, enamel on board.


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