Story: Painting

Shane Cotton

Shane Cotton

Shane Cotton stands in his Palmerston North studio with works that he was about to show in an exhibition in April 2011. On the far wall can be seen two of his large canvases. On the right is 'Easy forever, forever easy'. At its centre is a huge rock on which is outlined the image of Mary the Madonna. Birds flutter around, and at the top are the words 'Easy Rider' and 'Life'. This is a devotional work with references deep in Christian tradition. The work on the left, 'Star eater', has more Māori references. At its centre is a delicate manaia (beaked) figure, common in Māori carving, which has been built up with lacy white spirals. In such paintings Cotton displays the range of symbolic associations and complexities which he is able to draw upon.

Using this item

Photograph by Jim Barr & Mary Barr

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Painting of identity', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014