• Ralph Hotere

Hone Papita Raukura ‘Ralph’ Hotere (Te Aupōuri) (1931–2013) ONZ was one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant artists. Born and raised in a large Catholic whānau near Mitimiti, Te Tai Tokerau Northland, Hotere left for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland in 1946, where he attended first boarding school and then Auckland Post-Primary Teachers’ College. In the early 1950s, Hotere’s teacher training focused on art, and he moved to Ōtepoti Dunedin as part of Gordon Tovey’s scheme to train specialist art advisers. In 1953 Hotere returned to Te Tai Tokerau Northland to work as a Māori arts and crafts adviser. There he began exhibiting his own work and establishing himself as part of a community of artists who would become key figures of their generation.

In 1961, supported by an Association of New Zealand Art Societies fellowship, Hotere left Aotearoa to study in London and travel across Europe. This experience expanded his view of the world and influenced his early paintings, drawings and sketches. Over the subsequent decades, Hotere’s art charted his journeys throughout his own country and the world, focusing on place, family, tikanga Māori, art, culture, injustice, violence, love and faith.

Ātete (to resist) is shaped by a collective consideration of these journeys. From formal concerns, to political activism, to cultural, spiritual and material connection to place and people, Hotere’s work is shaped by a cycle of departure and return. At the heart of this exhibition, which creates meeting points between the major concerns of his art, lies a commitment to humanity, a political voice and a consistent and direct response to injustice in all its forms.

Drawn from institutions throughout Aotearoa, Ātete also emphasises the important position Hotere occupies in our nation’s public art collections; it includes some of the first public acquisitions of his work, key works from early exhibitions and milestone works that are now publicly owned. As the first large-scale Hotere exhibition to be presented for over two decades, Ātete reassesses the artist’s achievements, celebrates his dissenting voice and asserts his relevance to new generations of artists and audiences.

Ralph Hotere: Ātete (to resist) is a partnership project between the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.

Exhibition Partner in Dunedin Craigs Investment Partners.

Opening Hours

  • Open daily, 10am-5pm


  • 30 The Octagon
  • Dunedin, 9016