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John Pule is one of the most significant artists living and working in New Zealand today. From the mid-1990s his powerful, enigmatic and personal paintings attracted great interest, and his work came to be widely shown. Famously inspired by hiapo, the innovative barkcloths of nineteenth-century Niue, Pule has been fascinated by the Polynesian past and present, but his work ranges far more widely, responding both to ancestral culture, and to the global terror and violence of our time. This is the first book to deal with John Pule's art. It ranges over his drawing, print-making and writing - he is the author of two novels and several volumes of poetry - as well as his painting. Essays by Gregory O'Brien, Peter Brunt, and Nicholas Thomas provide several routes into Pule's engaging and compelling works, considering his formation as a writer and artist, his meditations on life and loss, and the extraordinary architecture of his visual art. John Pule speaks himself, through an extended interview, and in a series of extracts from his poetry and prose. Published to coincide with the first major survey exhibition of John Pule's work, curated by the City Gallery Wellington, Hauaga provides an indispensable guide to the work of one of the most powerful and original artists of the new Oceania.
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Nicholas Thomas was born in Sydney in 1960. He has researched and written about history and culture in the Pacific since the 1980s, and is author or editor of some twenty-five books, including "Oceanic Art," "Discoveries: the Voyages of Captain Cook," and a collaboration with John Pule, " Hiapo: Past and Present in Niuean Barkcloth." He is Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
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