Artists Shane Cotton

Shane Cotton

b. 1964
Upper Hutt, New Zealand (Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Rangi, Ngāti Hine and Te Uri Taniwha)

Shane Cotton is as an internationally renowned New Zealand artist, who has exhibited extensively in New Zealand and abroad. In 2008, he received a Laureate Award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation and, in 2012 was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the visual arts.

Cotton established himself at the forefront of the renaissance of Māori art in the 1990s and his distinguished career now spans over three decades. His practice is underpinned by recurrent questioning of his own bicultural identity, and our collective cultural identity. To offer a view into Te Ao Māori (Māori world view), Shane had to commit to learning and understanding matauranga Māori (knowledge). As his practice developed, he has built on the knowledge of his ancestors, actively absorbing, and reexamining the past to contextualize what biculturalism means in the present day. The symbols from Māori and Pakeha cultural histories in his paintings are predominantly derived from post-contact Māori art, and prompt conversations about nationhood and identity.

Having spent several years in Manuwatu, Cotton (b.1964) is now based in Kororāreka Russel. His formative years were in Te Awakairangi Hutt Valley. His extensive exhibition history is highlighted by exhibitions at the Asia Society Museum (New York); the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and as New Zealand’s representative at the Prague Bienniale (2005); The Dowse Art Museum (2021), Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū (2013), IMA (Brisbane 2012-13). His works are held in all major public collections in New Zealand and Australia.

Shane Cotton


1985-88 Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts, University of Canterbury
1989-90 Christs College Art Department - part time teaching
1991 Diploma in Teaching Christchurch College of Education
1992 Lincoln High School Art Department
1993-06 Lecturer, Te Putahi-a-Toi, Maori Visual Arts, Massey University

selected exhibitions

Download Curriculum Vitae

2021 Shane Cotton: Te Puāwai, The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt (solo)

2020 Toi Tu Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (group)

2018 Black Hole, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne (solo)

2017 Exploded Worlds, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin (group)

2014 The Voyage Out, Rossi & Rossi, Hong Kong (solo)
Baseland, Christchurch City Art Gallery, Christchurch (solo)

2013 The Hanging Sky, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch (solo)
The Hanging Sky, City Gallery, Wellington (solo)
The Hanging Sky, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney (solo)