Brett Graham was born in Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland. Graham graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1988. He received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Hawaiʻi in 1991 and a Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland in 2005.
Graham’s father, sculptor Fred Graham, and contemporaries such as Selwyn Muru, Paratene Matchitt and Ralph Hotere were early influences on his artistic development.
In 1992, Graham held his first solo exhibition, *1492–1642*. The show questioned the centennial celebrations of the European discovery of America in 1492 and New Zealand in 1642. Graham’s sculptures since have examined indigenous experiences of the colonial process, emphasising relationships between Māori and other colonised cultures and exploring the connection to local and international histories of adaptation, weaponisation and violence.
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