Ōtepoti – A special Ralph Hotere painting about Aramoana which could reach $130,000 goes under the hammer at Webb’s auction in Auckland on June 12.
Hotere, of Te Aupouri and Te Rawarawa ancestry, is famous for his works which often represent Maori culture and issues relating to Aotearoa and is rated as one of the top and most treasured New Zealand artists of the last two centuries.
He was born in Matihetihe, a tiny west coast sea facing community in the Hokianga, Northland.
He attended Matihetihe primary school which currently has a roll of 18 students and was founded in 1890.
Hone Papita Raukura (Ralph) Hotere ONZ, one of 15 children, died 10 years ago. He was 81 and was buried in his original home town of Matihetihe.
He attended Hato Petera College in Auckland and studied art at Auckland Teachers’ Training College before moving to Dunedin in 1952, where he studied at Dunedin School of Art.
In 1994 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Otago and in 2003 received an Icon Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. In the 2012 New Year Honours, Hotere was appointed to the Order of New Zealand for services to New Zealand.
In 1961 Hotere gained a New Zealand Art Societies Fellowship and travelled to England where he studied at the Central School of Art and Design in London.
Hotere returned to New Zealand and exhibited in Dunedin in 1965 and returned to the city in 1969 when he became the University of Otago’s Frances Hodgkins Fellow.
He moved to Port Chalmers that year and became involved in the Save Aramoana campaign which opposed the construction of an aluminium smelter in the settlement. The smelter was later set up near Bluff in Southland.
The successful campaign stands as a significant example of a community’s determination over big business.
Other top works include a Golden Girl painting by Ian Scott valued at up to $85,000 and a Peter Stitchbury oil on linen estimated to fetch also up to $85,000.