Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1931, d.2013
Te Aupōuri, Muriwhenua, Māori
Aotearoa New Zealand / England / France, b.1935, d.2019
Pathway to the Sea - Aramoana
- Purchased 1991
- Reproduced courtesy of Bill Culbert and Ralph Hotere
- 530 x 705mm
Tags: monochrome, text (layout feature), words
In te reo Māori, Aramoana means ‘pathway to the sea’. It’s also a small settlement on the Otago Peninsula, near where Ralph Hotere had his studio – and where Hotere and fellow artist Bill Culbert protested against the building of an aluminium smelter, which they were concerned would degrade the harbour. The two were great friends, and Culbert would return to Aotearoa New Zealand most years from his home in Europe (usually during Bluff oyster season) to collaborate on large-scale sculptural works with Hotere. This suite of lithographs extends the ideas of one of Hotere and Culbert’s earliest sculptural collaborations, also titled Pathway to the Sea – Aramoana. It features the glasses of wine they enjoyed together, the pāua shells and fluorescent tubes of the installation work, and questions about place and personal identity.
(Te Wheke, 2020)
This suite relates to Pathway to the Sea – Aramoana (1991), a major sculptural installation of parallel rows of fluorescent tubes and paua shells that stretch across the floor. Based around Otago Harbour, the prints show a range of ideas and themes that Ralph Hotere and William Culbert had for the installation.
The wine glass, which occurs throughout this suite, symbolises the harbour and its stem symbolises the ‘pathway to the sea’. There is also text, which, of course, is absent from the installation piece. Hotere and Culbert raise the question of identity by asking ‘No Hea Koe?’ (Where are you from?) and ‘Ko Wai Koe?’ (Who are you?)
Hotere and Culbert collaborated on a number of large scale sculptural works since the early 1990s.
Hotere was born in Taikarawa, Northland, and was one of New Zealand’s most significant contemporary artists. He studied at the Central School of Art in London and worked in France and Italy but lived at Port Chalmers. Hotere exhibited paintings and sculpture throughout New Zealand and made numerous works as a result of public commissions. Culbert was born in Port Chalmers, near Dunedin. He studied at the University of Canterbury School of Fine Art and in 1957 travelled to London and attended the Royal College of Art. Culbert has been making sculptures using light since the late 1960s and exhibits widely in Britain and Europe. He currently lives in London and the south of France and often returns to New Zealand.