Encountering the Song of Spring in Ralph Hotere and Cilla McQueen’s Song of Solomon

Joanna Osborne


New Zealand Maori artist Ralph Hotere’s (1931–2013) Song of Solomon series is a collaborative visual and poetic commentary that Hotere made with award winning New Zealand poet Cilla McQueen (b.1949) in protest at the Gulf War (Iraq, 1991). Here I present a reading of one of the paintings from this series with McQueen’s poem, Warpath. I explore the sonorous effects of repetition and visual and spatial arrangements in Hotere and McQueen’s collaboration, paying specific attention to the appropriation and re-contextualisation of 2:10 – 12 of the Song of Songs as it is embedded in the particular material qualities of the painting.


Ralph Hotere; Cilla McQueen; Song of Solomon

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Bible and Critical Theory: ISSN 1832-3391