Careys Bay artist Ralph Hotere (right) and Auckland artist
Billy Apple work together again after 29 years. Photo by
Two of New Zealand's most famous living artists yesterday
recreated a work on which they collaborated 29 years ago.
In 1979, Ralph Hotere, of Careys Bay, and three other artists
helped Auckland artist Billy Apple create an installation in
the former Bosshard Gallery, in Dowling St, Dunedin.
The plan was that Towards the Centre would consist of an
empty gallery, with a mark showing its central point, and be
an "art political" statement.
As it transpired, a diagonal string sightline revealed the
central point was where a pole stood inside the gallery and,
as a result, the pole and the string became part of the work.
With a tin of Resene Lumberside, Hotere was the one who
painted the pole "guard red" from floor to ceiling.
In the years since, the string has gone - though not the
nails to which it was attached - the pole has been repainted
white several times and the gallery has changed its name to
the Brett McDowell Gallery.
Yesterday, the two artists turned back time for a few moments
as Hotere repainted part of the pole using the same tin of
paint - although this time from his wheelchair.
Apple said he was content to leave the pole only partly
"I made a decision when it was happening that we would leave
it at that. He painted the total thing last time in 1979 but
this was all he was able to do today."
He recounted that the original project came about during his
tour of the country with a grant from the Queen Elizabeth II
Apple said representations of the gallery floor plan with the
central point marked by Hotere would be offered for sale if
there was sufficient demand.
Asked if he was doing interviews, Hotere gave the same answer
he has given for decades: "No".
The exhibition opens today at 5.30pm.