Story: Public protest

‘1984 No. 9’ by Ralph Hōtere

‘1984 No. 9’ by Ralph Hōtere

There is a long tradition of public protest using the arts, through media like painting, literature and music. This 1984 painting by Dunedin artist Ralph Hōtere was a protest against American nuclear-ship visits to New Zealand. The Christchurch Art Gallery said of the painting: ‘Hōtere uses the scratched stainless steel plate to suggest the sinister and uncompromising technology of the warship, whilst the weathered frame and delicately scorched paper allude to the fragility of the natural world and the impact of political decisions. A strong vertical in the centre of the work could suggest a periscope or the explosive thrust of a missile which have been “crossed out” by the artist.’

Using this item

Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Mixed media by Ralph Hotere

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Courtesy of the Hotere Foundation Trust

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Public protest - Public protest overview', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 20 Jun 2012, reviewed & revised 26 Apr 2023