Mr Ralph Hotere is a painter, sculptor and collaborative artist and is regarded as one of New Zealand's most important contemporary artists.
His works are a reaction to local and global social and environmental issues and are dominated by black, both in colour and in title. He makes extensive use of words, often quoting the work of well-known poets and his conversations with them. His painting is of both the artistic and personal dialogue between himself and his friends, including the 'Black Union Jack' works in 1981, which questioned the Springbok Tour and the 'Black Rainbow' which protested the sinking of the 'Rainbow Warrior'. One of his significant collaborations is 'Pathway to the Sea', commenting on the Aramoana massacre in 1991. He uses a wide variety of mediums, including canvas, roofing iron, gold leaf and glass. Mr Hotere's work is represented in all major public and private collections in New Zealand and internationally.
University of Otago Honorary Doctorate 1994
Arts Foundation of New Zealand Icon Award 2003
University of Auckland Honorary Doctorate 2005
Te Waka Toi Te Taumata Award, recognising outstanding leadership and service to Māori arts and culture 2006
Citation prepared 2011