John Pule

b. 1962

Also known as:

  • John Puhiatau Pule

John Pule's family moved from Niue to Aotearoa in 1964. Largely self-trained, Pule works across media including painting, printmaking, poetry and prose. His art explores his experience as part of the Niuean diaspora, and the impact of colonisation and Christianity across the Pacific.

Pule's published works include novels (he Shark that Ate the Sun (Ko E Mago Ne Kai E La) 1992; Burn My Head in Heaven (Tugi e ulu haaku he langi) 2000; Restless people (Tagata kapakiloi) 2004) and poetry (Sonnets to Van Gogh and Providence 1982; Flowers after the Sun 1984; The Bond of Time: An Epic Love Poem 1985, 2nd ed. 1998, 3rd ed. 2014).

Pule has been recognised with many honours and awards including a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand in 2004 and appointment as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as an author, poet and painter in 2012.

"John Pule is arguably one of the Pacific’s most celebrated artists and has been at the forefront of New Zealand contemporary art since he began painting in the early 1990s."

~ quoted from The Central Art Gallery.

See also:

John Pule, ‘Mercy’ (1996), University of Waikato, Kirikiriroa Hamilton

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022