Story: Arts and the nation

Hone Tuwhare and Ralph Hōtere, 1987

Hone Tuwhare and Ralph Hōtere, 1987

Poet Hone Tuwhare and artist Ralph Hōtere are seen together at a Māori writers' and artists' hui at Waahi marae, Huntly, in 1987. The two were among the most prominent Māori creative artists who exploded onto the New Zealand cultural scene from the 1960s onwards. Tuwhare and Hōtere were both born in Northland and then moved south to Otago. They were good friends, and sometimes worked together artistically. Hōtere used words from Tuwhare's poems in his paintings and illustrated some of Tuwhare's published collections. Tuwhare, in turn, wrote a poem in honour of his friend. 'Hōtere' begins:

When you offer only three
vertical lines precisely drawn
and set into a dark pool of lacquer
it is a visual starvation;
and even though my eyeballs
roll up and over to peer inside
myself, when I reach the beginning
of your eternity I say instead: hell
let's have another feed of mussels
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Photograph by Gil Hanly

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Arts and the nation - Artists reject nationalism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 June 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014