Ralph Hotere (born 1931), New Zealand (Te Aupöuri), Aurora, 1980, acrylic paint on corrugated iron. Purchased 1980 with Harold Beauchamp Collection funds
Use of this image is subject to the terms and conditions of this website. Reproduced courtesy of Ralph Hotere and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
'Fragile and fierce'
Ralph Hotere has painted on and sculpted with many found objects, including polished steel, window frames, timber, and nails. This is an early example of his use of corrugated iron. Writer Ian Wedde has called Hotere’s ‘Aurora’ works ‘at once fragile and fierce’, combining ‘dread, elegance and anger’.
In the 1980s, Hotere nailed up large sheets of corrugated iron splashed with messages protesting against the aluminium smelter proposed near his home in Port Chalmers, Dunedin. In his art and in his life, Hotere has continued to make strong political statements about issues which are important to him.
Note: This work has been removed to make way for the exhibition New Zealand at the Venice Biennale 2009.
More information about the Venice Biennale exhibition