Story: Public protest

'1984 No. 9' by Ralph Hotere

'1984 No. 9' by Ralph Hotere

There is a long tradition of public protest using the arts, through media like painting, literature and music. This 1984 painting by Dunedin artist Ralph Hotere was a protest against American nuclear-ship visits to New Zealand in the 1980s. The Christchurch Art Gallery said of the painting: 'Hotere uses the scratched stainless steel plate to suggest the sinister and uncompromising technology of the warship, whilst the weathered frame and delicately scorched paper allude to the fragility of the natural world and the impact of political decisions. A strong vertical in the centre of the work could suggest a periscope or the explosive thrust of a missile which have been "crossed out" by the artist.'

Using this item

Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Mixed media by Ralph Hotere

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Courtesy of the Hotere Foundation Trust

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Public protest - Public protest overview', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 October 2021)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jul 2015