Story: Contemporary Māori art – ngā toi hōu

Ralph Hōtere's 'Black phoenix'

Ralph Hōtere's 'Black phoenix'

Ralph Hōtere's enormous and haunting 1984 mixed-media work 'Black phoenix' is shown installed at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa in 2011. It was made from the fire-blackened timbers of a fishing trawler that burned to the ground at a shipyard near Hōtere's Otago home. Some planks are carved with the whakataukī (proverb) 'Hinga atu he tatakura, ara mai he tatakura' (when one frond dies, another rises to replace it). Hōtere's work is noted for its powerfully symbolic and often highly political content.

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Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: 1988-0030-1/AA to BZ

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Courtesy of the Hotere Foundation Trust

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How to cite this page:

Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, 'Contemporary Māori art – ngā toi hōu - Te toi hou a te Māori, te toi taketake a te Māori', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/object/45360/ralph-hoteres-black-phoenix (accessed 18 May 2022)

Story by Jonathan Mane-Wheoki, published 22 Oct 2014