(Ngati Rangi, Ngati Hine, Te Uri Taniwha)
Born 1964, Upper Hutt (NZ). Lives and works in Russell (NZ)
Populated by images of birds, rolling clouds, moko mokai (preserved, tattooed heads), and spray-painted Christian and Māori texts, since the mid-2000s Shane Cotton has explored diverse cultural histories through the intersection of painting and digital technology. Of Māori and Pakeha ancestry, Cotton draws on a symbolic vocabulary around both the indigenous and the introduced—weaving tales of personal, local, and universal concern regarding colonisation, identity, and biculturalism.
Cotton received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch in 1988. His work has been included in many international projects such as Toi Tu Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (2020); The Beauty of Distance the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2010); the 3rd Auckland Triennial (2007) and Paradise Now? Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Asia Society Museum, New York (2004).
Solo exhibitions include The Hanging Sky, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2012), Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (2013), Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū (2013), City Gallery, Wellington (2013) and Shane Cotton Survey 1993-2003, a retrospective at City Gallery, Wellington (2003). A major exhibition of new work by Cotton is scheduled to open in 2022 at the Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt. In 1998 he was awarded the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship, and in 2006 was recognised as an Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureate.