Tofua, 2002
Oil, pencil and ink on canvas
200 x 180 cm
Sue Curtling and Richard Priest
Born 1962, Liku, Niue; lives in Auckland, New Zealand

When he was two years old, John Pule’s family relocated to New Zealand from Niue, a small island state. His paintings build a personal mythology as a way of connecting to his Niuean heritage. The three works in the exhibition are from his most recent series. They depict scenes of violence with the symbols of Christianity. Is this activity real or something conjured by the artist’s imagination? We have to assume it is partly real, given the title of one of these works, Tofua, that makes reference to the name of the boat on which the artist and his family migrated to New Zealand.

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