Shane Cotton

The Waka Transformation

The Waka Transformation by Shane Cotton

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The Waka Transformation is a painting from the 'Blackout Movement' series by Shane Cotton. He describes the work as restaging Māori spiritual and temporal awakenings by reviewing Ngāpuhi acculturation into Christianity and examining tribal identity. He evokes the spirit of acclaimed Hokiangā tohunga Papahurihia and his loyal followers, depicting them travelling in a waka or canoe across a dark canvas; perhaps reciting karakia or prayers. By probing moments in history from the vantage point of a descendant, Cotton's intention is to unmask and create contemporary history that is fixed in the past, yet attached to the present.

The Waka Transformation
Production date
acrylic on canvas
700 x 1000 mm
signed & dated, verso lower right canvas, feltpen: Shane Cotton / 2001
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2001
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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