Shane Cotton, ONZM (born 3 October 1964) is a major New Zealand painter. He was born in Lower Hutt with Ngapuhi iwi affiliations (his father a member of the Ngapuhi iwi and his mother European). Cotton studied at the Ilam School of Fine Arts in Christchurch, graduating in 1988 and then went on to gain a Diploma of Education from Christchurch College of Education. After finishing his studies he lectured at Massey University, Palmerston North in the Maori Visual Arts Program until 2005 when he left to concentrate on his art practice full-time. He lives and works in Palmerston North.Cotton was the recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1998. In 2008 he received a Laureate Award from the New Zealand Arts Foundation and was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the visual arts in 2012. His work is highly sought after. He has received the Seppelt Contemporary Art Award from Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art, and has been exhibited at many leading galleries in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in Spain and Prague. He was the New Zealand representative in the 2005 Prague Biennale and his work was included in the 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010. In 2015 Cotton was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial to make a print to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary.Cotton's work evocatively includes both Maori iconography and culture, such as shrunken heads, mokomokai, and native birds such as tui, and European symbols and items. His paintings have explored questions of colonialism, cultural identity, Maori spirituality, and life and death.Many of his paintings go into depth of primitive ideas especially through Maori whakapapa.Describing his practice Cotton says "Biculturalism, how our histories have been interwoven over time, things that have come out of that connection – culture, politics, societal living – have been the driving factors in my work.”

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