Monday, February 25, 2013

Hotere spoke of us and for us

This was published as a letter  in the New Zealand Herald Tuesday, 26 February, 2013 

Fittingly, art commentators, writers, artists, friends  and media have paid tribute to Ralph Hotere. Ralph sits alongside poets Hone Tuwhare and James K Baxter, writer Maurice Shadbolt and fellow painter Colin McCahon who challenged us as people, stood with us and articulated our thoughts in our darkest peace time hours.
Growing up in the 1960s and 70s there were small number of people who inspired many of us. They spoke of home not nineteen thousand kilometers away, but of this land New Zealand as home. They all loved their country, the challenges in reaching our potential, the achievable dreams and the pain in dealing with our issues. All of them could have left New Zealand such was their talent, and become successful internationally.

Hotere is perhaps the last of this courageous outspoken generation.  His death provides an opportunity for a discussion the contribution they made shaping our nation