Ralph Hōtere painted this work on hardboard placed in a found window frame in 1981, at a time when the community, and Hōtere in particular, were concerned about the proposal for an aluminium smelter at Aramoana, just up Otago Harbour from where Hōtere lived. The window is black, a frequently used colour in Hōtere's work, and in the top left pane can be seen suggestions of letters and words. The simple white cross speaks of spiritual associations. The work reflects characteristic aspects of Hōtere's painting: his art has a fine sense of abstract design, but it also has wider social concerns. In the use of black and white, Hōtere pays tribute both to his Māori heritage and also to the paintings of Colin McCahon.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Auckland Art Gallery – Toi o Tāmaki, Chartwell Collection
Oil on board by Ralph Hotere
Permission of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
Courtesy of the Hotere Foundation Trust