Portrait of Ūawa Tolaga Bay by John Walsh re hung in Wellington

An artwork completed, but deemed too radical and never hung, is on  display in Wellington almost 40 years since its completion.

The epic 20 metre-long, 3.6 metre-tall contemporary Māori painting,  Portrait of Ūawa Tolaga Bay,  sketches a community – a collection of faces, spirits, nature, pieces of the past, and futuristic wonders to represent times unknown.

Artist John Walsh, then 27-years-old, finished the piece in 1980 for Hauiti Marae but its place there would never come to fruition. Debate followed and the 10 panels of painted chipboard became a source for controversy, "a national kicking ball, for five minutes".

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November 7, 2018