John Hovell interview

By Sally Blundell In Books

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16th July, 2011
This is high art. Literally, physically, even meta­physically. The painted curls and crescents and half circles, the flora and fauna and stylised figures that swarm up the heke (rafters) of the whare whakairo, the decorated meeting house. This is kowhaiwhai, the soaring art practice of John Hovell. “Kowhaiwhai has always been something fizzy and slightly frenetic,” he says on the phone from a borrowed house on the Coromandel (in summer he’ll return home, to a demobilised house ...

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