Ralph Hotere inspired us.
The first artist of Maori descent to be written into the official history of New Zealand Art, Ralph's fusion of modernist european influences and traditional Maori themes created work that was truly unique and helped push New Zealand art to a new era. A quiet man in person, he has been described as an 'art warrior' who took on and represented social, political and environmental issues.In 1996, when the Bank of New South Wales merged with Trustbank to create WestpacTrust, Designworks commissioned Ralph to create the painting 'Red X 2' to mark the formation of New Zealand's biggest bank and signify it's ongoing commitment to New Zealand communities and culture. The work formed the backbone of the brand's visual identity for more than five years. 'Red X 2 then hung in the departure lounge of Wellington airport and Westpac HQ. Since 2003, it has been on loan to Auckland Art Gallery.We send our condolences to Ralph's whanau.