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RALPH HOTERE THE DARK IS LIGHT ENOUGH A BIOGRAPHICAL PORTRAIT
Ralph Hotere (Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa; 1931–2013) was one of Aotearoa’s most
significant modern artists.
Hotere invited the poet, novelist and biographer Vincent O’Sullivan to write his life story in
Now, this book — the result of years of research and many conversations with Hotere and
his fellow artists, collaborators, friends and family — provides a nuanced, compelling
portrait of Hotere: the man, and the artist.
"Vincent O’Sullivan has given us the remarkable story of a small boy, Hone Papita
Raukura Hotere — born in 1931 near Mitimiti on the coastal edge of the Hokianga — who
first becomes Rau, then Ralph, and eventually an iconic, stand-alone signature: HOTERE. I
love the tale about Ralph being invited to explain his work to the Queen. It’s not hard to
guess how he must have felt. Now he would simply be able to hand Her Majesty a copy
of this book, give one of his quiet coughs, and say, ‘Here you go, this should do the
— BILL MANHIRE
"Ka rawe! This rangatira book by Vincent O’Sullivan leaves no doubt as to Ralph Hotere’s
position on the paepae of New Zealand artists."
— WITI IHIMAERA
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