Ralph Hotere protest piece sells for $183,000

Vive Aramoana_Ralph Hotere

International Art Centre director Richard Thomson with Ralph Hotere’s painting Vive Aramoana. Photo: Jason Oxenham/Fairfax NZ

When I came across this article online, I thought it was great. It just goes to show that visual art like this has a lasting voice and presence. It will still speak for generations.

“A Ralph Hotere [Hone Papita Raukura “Ralph” Hotere] artwork depicting the fight to stop an aluminium smelter being built at Aramoana sold for $183,000 at an auction in Auckland in November 2012.

The work, Vive Aramoana, was part of an 11-piece collection that once hung in the historic Carey’s Bay Hotel, in Port Chalmers, and was sold by the International Art Centre in Parnell.”

“The artist painted Vive Aramoana in the early 1980s as part of the protest movement to stop an aluminium smelter being built at the entrance to Otago Harbour.”

He also produced the series protesting against a controversial rugby tour by New Zealand of apartheid-era South Africa (Black Union Jack) in 1981, and the sinking of the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior (Black rainbow) in 1985. More recently, his reactions to Middle-East politics have resulted in works such as Jerusalem, Jerusalem and This might be a double cross jack. (Sourced from Wikipedia)

Don Binney

Sadly on 14th September 2012, this well-known New Zealand artist passed away.

He had a special connection with the land & was able to depict this beautifully in his work.

The Diversion Gallery wrote this about Binney:

Don Binney needs little introduction to art lovers – or the New Zealand public – so distinctive are his iconic paintings and drawings of birds and landforms. In a career spanning more than 40 years, his commitment to ornithology, environmental issues and spiritual connection with the land has driven his art practice. (sourced from here)

And these pieces are from a story on Stuff.co.nz that was written remembering the artists life after he had passed away.

“Judy Hanbury said Binney’s love of the environment was rooted in his boyhood. He saw his first shining cuckoo in Kohimarama and never lost the joy of hearing the first one of spring.

That love would feed into his conservation efforts that saw him engage with many trusts dedicated to protecting New Zealand’s flora and fauna.” (Source: Stuff)

View some of his paintings here.

Nigel Brown

One website that I found in my search said this about Brown:

Nigel Brown is acknowledged as a leading narrative artist whose distinctive works use a blend of symbolic and expressionistic approaches to voice deep social concern. Employing history, literature and politics as devices to draw attention to individual and environmental issues Nigel Brown conveys emotional and intuitive sympathy within the confines of the works in an accurate and incisive reading of the human condition.’ (sourced from here)

And another said this:

‘Ultimately, Brown is tilling our history and telling who we are (becoming) through our deeds. He reminds us again and again that everything is interconnected – the environment, the dreams of aspiration, the passage of time etc. He uses words as narrative devices, as architectural monuments and (ultimately) emblematically.’ (sourced from here)

Some of his pieces confront us about our effects on our country & the earth.

One painting called ‘We are water’ 2009 states: “Eh river we are sorry, we are largely water. If we don’t respect it, what do we respect? If we abuse rivers, we abuse ourselves.” (view painting here)

In another series called ‘Short Lives of Birds‘ one painting named’ Let’s Come to Terms With Birds’ says: “Let’s come to terms with birds, facing their extinction and our own. Mindful of our own purpose driven fate changing with the weather.”