2 Aug 2019

Students protest historical NZ artist Theo Schoon

From Morning Report, 8:43 am on 2 August 2019

A group of students want the public to boycott an exhibition by a controversial artist - labelling him a racist whose work appropriates Māori culture.

Theo Schoon was an influential but deeply controversial figure over a four-decade career until his death 1985.

Hamish Cardwell was at Wellington's City Gallery and filed this report.

One of the protesters, Anna McAllister, told RNZ said Schoon's work appropriated Māori motifs and patterns, and that the gallery had failed to convey just how controversial he was.

She said Schoon often referred to Māori as degenerates and she urged people to stay away from the exhibition.

"We feel like the curation of the show has meant that the wall text, where the general public's meant to get the majority of their information ... is sort of dotting around the fact that he was a horrific racist."