The Hotere tribute book available to be signed in the
Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The life of artist Ralph Hotere will be celebrated with a
public service in Dunedin this week.
A requiem Mass will be held at 11am on Thursday at St
Hotere (81) died in Dunedin at noon on Sunday, surrounded by
family and friends.
''This Mass will be open to members of the public who may
wish to pay their respects to Ralph,'' Hotere family
spokeswoman Judith Ablett-Kerr advised yesterday. On Friday,
Hotere's body will be taken to the Matihetihe marae, at his
Mitimiti birthplace in Northland, for his tangi. Tributes
continued to flow yesterday.
''Our country has lost an artistic pioneer whose career as a
sculptor, painter and collaborative artist spanned more than
five decades; changing New Zealand art forever,'' Ministry of
Maori Development Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Michelle
''The legacy of this son of the Hokianga remains through his
art, which challenged and championed important social
A sculpture by Hotere and his wife, artist Mary McFarlane,
Ruaumoko, stands outside Te Puni Kokiri offices in
Long-time friend Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples said
Hotere was a great Maori figure.
''Ralph's art works encapsulated much of the struggle that
tangata whenua were facing during his time. He was an
activist; he was a thought-provoking philosopher; and he was
an advocate for Maori rights,'' Dr Sharples said.
''He took our culture to the world, and he took our
aspirations as tangata whenua and enticed people to engage in
our history and our stories.''
A tribute book was placed beneath Hotere's 1989 work Oputae,
Blue Gums and Daisies Falling in the Dunedin Public Art
''The gallery had a very long and rich relationship with
Ralph over the years and we're feeling his loss acutely and
want to pay respect by putting up his work and allowing our
audience to reflect,'' gallery director Cam McCracken said.
''He was a remarkable person and a real character. He is at
the very top. He is one of a handful of artists to be
mentioned in the same breath as the greats; like [Colin]
McCahon and [Rita] Angus. He was a very significant
contemporary New Zealand artist. It's the end of an era. It's
a very significant loss.''
The Port Chalmers Community Board would pay its respects at
its next meeting on March 20, chairwoman Jan Tucker said
''He was a great member of the Port Chalmers community. He
was the first, and only, ONZ we've ever had.''
Hotere was made a member of the Order of New Zealand in the
2012 New Year's Honours in recognition of his contribution to