Ralph Hotere, making small holes in the silence

Although I didn’t study law, I spent a bit of time in the law building at Otago University during my five years there, either for LAWS 101 lectures and tutorials in my first year, debates and fixtures for the Otago University Debating Society, or visiting lawyer friends in their offices there later on.

Every time I would stop in the foyer and look up at Ralph Hotere’s glorious triptych paiting depicting Hone Tuwhare’s famous poem, Rain.

It brought me a great sense of peace and put my petty academic worries into perspective every time. It now hangs in the Hocken Library in Dunedin and is available for public viewing – I’d highly recommend it.

Since then I’ve always been a huge admirer of Hotere’s work, and I agree with many of the commentators who’ve remarked since his death yesterday that he was a truly unique New Zealand artist, and we will not see his like again.

Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this hard time. Rest in peace.