Ralph Hotere: Godwit/Kuaka

Ralph Hotere: Godwit/Kuaka
Ralph Hotere
Godwit/Kuaka 1977 (installation view)
Commissioned by Auckland International Airport, 1977
Chartwell Collection
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1996

Exhibition Details

In 1977, Ralph Hotere was commissioned by Auckland International Airport to create an 18-metre long mural for installation in the Arrivals Hall of the Jean Batten Terminal building.

By inviting Ralph Hotere’s response to long-distance air travel, the airport commissioned one of New Zealand’s largest murals. The artist chose the painting’s theme to be a welcome to returning citizens and a greeting to visitors arriving at this, the country’s busiest airport. The artist wanted his painting to evoke non-stop, long-distance air travel.

Originally titled The Flight of the Godwit, Hotere’s mural remained in the airport’s welcoming area until 1996, when redevelopment of the terminal building began. The mural was removed from the airport’s art collection, purchased by the Chartwell Trust and lent to Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 1996. At that time, Ralph Hotere renamed the mural Godwit/Kuaka.

The kūaka (bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri) is a shore bird whose flight endurance is unparalleled. Renowned for undertaking transoceanic aerial journeys between Alaska and New Zealand, it has the reputation of a ‘can do and go anywhere’ animal. Its physical stamina is legendary; travelling non-stop over 10,000 kilometres across the Pacific Ocean. It starts and ends its journey without once receiving the nourishment of food.

The artist’s father, Tangirau Hotere, taught his son the ancient Māori chant stencilled at the mural’s centre. Shortly prior to the artist’s death in 2013, he recorded part of the Muriwhenua chanting for installation of Godwit/ Kuaka in this gallery. The recording plays on the hour and every half-hour.

 

I te tau kotahi mano, e iwa rau, e whitu tekau mā whitu, ka tonoa a Ralph Hotere e Te Papa Taunga o Tāmaki Makau Rau kia auahatia tētahi pikitia pakitara tekau mā waru mīta te roa hei whakanikoniko i te hōro whakatau manuhiri tūārangi ki roto i te Whare Taunga o Jean Batten.

He tono ki a Ralph Hotere kia whakatinana-a-toi i te āhuatanga rere tawhiti, ā, kia auahatia e ia te pikitia pakitara nui rawa o Aotearoa. I whakaaro nui a Hotere mō te kaupapa o te pikitia, arā, he kaupapa whakatau i ngā waewae kaikapua ka hoki mai i tāwāhi, me ngā waewae tapu i taetae mai ki te papa taunga nui o te motu. Ki ō Hōtere whakaaro, ko te tikanga o te pikitia, hei whakaū i te wheako rere arorangi.

Ko The Flight of the Godwit te ingoa tuatahi o te pikitia a Hotere, ā, ka noho motuhake te pikitia ki te wāhi whakatau manuhiri o te papa taunga tae noa ki te tau kotahi mano e iwa rau e iwa tekau mā ono. I taua wā he mea whakahou te whare whakatau manuhiri tūārangi. Ka tangohia te pikitia pakitara i te kohinga toi o te papa taunga, ka hokona e te Chartwell Trust, ā, ka noho ki Te Toi o Tāmaki i te tau kotahi mano, e iwa rau, e iwa tekau mā ono. I taua wā tonu, ka tapaina ki te ingoa hou e Hotere, ko Godwit/Kuaka.

Ko te kūaka (bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri) he manu noho ki tai, kāhore he painga i a ia mō te rere tawhiti. Ka rongonui whānuitia āna heke i Arāka ki Aotearoa, ka kīia he manu mārangaranga. Inā te kaha o tēnei manu e taea ai te rere hūrokuroku, tekau mano kiromita te roanga puta noa i Te Moana nui a Kiwa. Ka noho puku te kūaka mai i te tīmatanga o te rerenga tae noa ki tana taunga.

Nā tana pāpā, nā Tangirau Hotere a Ralph i whakaako ki tētahi karakia tāwhito, ā, kua tāngia hoki ngā kupu o te karakia ki te pū o te pikitia pakitara. I mua tonu i te matenga o Ralph Hotere i te tau rua mano tekau mā toru, nānā i mau ki te rīpene a Muriwhenua e taki ana i tētahi wāhanga o te karakia i te whakairinga o

Godwit/Kuaka ki roto i te whare toi nei. Ka whakapaohotia, ā, ka rangona ia hawhe haora.

Date
Curated by
Ron Brownson
Location
Ground level

Artworks on display

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On display

Godwit/Kuaka
Godwit/Kuaka

Ralph Hotere

On display

Production date
1977
Medium
enamel on board
Size (h x w)
2400 x 18000 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Auckland International Airport Ltd, 1997
Accession no
C1997/1/1/1-15
View Artwork

On display

Ralph Hotere (Godwit/Kuaka Mural)
Ralph Hotere (Godwit/Kuaka Mural)

Marti Friedlander

On display

Production date
circa 1977
Medium
black and white photograph
Size (h x w)
400 x 505 mm
Credit line
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 1998
Accession no
C1998/1/17
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On display

Ralph Hotere 1978
Ralph Hotere 1978

Marti Friedlander

On display

Production date
2000
Medium
gelatin silver print, toned with gold
Size (h x w)
478 x 482 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Marti Friedlander, with assistance from the Elise Mourant Bequest, 2001
Accession no
2000/28/57