Drawing for a church window at Mitimiti
NFS – from the BNZ Collection
Ralph Hotere was one of New Zealandâ€™s most important contemporary artists. A humble man, he was renowned for speaking little about his own work, preferring to let the works speak for themselves:
â€œThere are few things I can say about my work that are better than saying nothing.â€ (Ralph Hotere, 1996)
Drawing for a church window at Mitimiti was taken from a series of works created in 1982, the year of his fatherâ€™s death. The works feature places along the West coast of Muriwhenua, including Hione, the cemetery at Mitimiti. Although Hotere spent much of his adult life in Dunedin, the Towards a church window series illustrates his ongoing connection to Mitimiti: the place he was born, the place his ancestors are buried, and the place Ralph himself has been laid to rest.
The name Mitimiti is said to mean â€˜to lap, or lick upâ€™ and refers to the site at which spirits leaving the earth at Cape Reinga would stop and quench their thirst on the stream water seeping up through the sand.