Race Relations. 2nd panel

Emily Karaka, Artist

This is one of the painting assemblages in our collection. It was made in New Zealand in 1986.
About the Work
'The painting of Emily Karaka is cross-cultural. Her paintings have a strong neo-expressionist quality not unlike Philip Clairmont or Allen Maddox. Her debt to McCahon is acknowledged in her painting Race Relations Triptych, 1988, where his name is scrawled in red under a skeleton figure made of ox bones. The sense of oppression and of being a victim comes through in this panel. The variant of McCahon’s ‘I Am’ lettering at the right appears as a tribute to McCahon and as a criticism of Christianity, also acknowledged in the cross-shape of the central section. Karaka takes signs of anger – gesture, symbols and words – from European art to protest against values oppressive to Māori people, in her case there is more of an emotional response to the forms and meanings of traditional Māori art.'
Michael Dunn, New Zealand Painting: A Concise History, p.193
2130 x 3600mm
oil paint and mixed media
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui. Purchased, 1992.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
11 Mar 1992


Accession Number: