For over 20 years, Lester Hall has created unique and beautiful Māori/European/Pacific centric artwork. His printed works are a collection based on what he has learnt and experienced as a Pākehā growing up in New Zealand.
I first came to know Lester’s work through my good friends at The Poi Room – see The Poi Room now open in Ponsonby. His prints are both beautiful and thought-provoking. Being a fan of Dick Frizzell and Kiwiana in general, I could see subtle similarities in the style of art each produced.
Lester’s prints remind me of my own childhood in New Zealand. Their retro style akin to the stamps and Kiwiana flags that my parents collected while we travelled around the North Island with our caravan.
Each of his prints is a reflection of the dynamic and at times abrasive relationship between the indigenous Māori and the mainly European population who have chosen to call New Zealand home. Lester hopes for a united New Zealand going forward and you can clearly see that ambition in his work.
In Lester’s own words …
“My art looks toward a tipping point where we actually decide to form a nation, not just live in one that is turning out to be whatever it is turning out to be.“
Lester also holds very strong views on the current New Zealand flag debate. A debate which has polarised New Zealanders. You can read more about these views on his website.