Tāme Iti corrects his name misspelled on artwork at Wellington hotel

Source: 1News

Artist, actor and activist Tāme Iti has corrected his misspelled name on an artwork hanging at a Wellington hotel.

Iti posted a video of himself changing the spelling on the Tama performs in a New Zealand landscape painting by artist Dean Proudfoot which is hanging at Wellington's QT Hotel on Instagram yesterday.

The painting features a misspelling of Iti's name in the bottom-left corner, with it reading Tama instead of Tāme.

In the video, Iti admires other artworks before sitting down for what appears to be a cup of tea and addressing the camera.

“They call me Tame, Tama, somehow or another, you know. Such a simple name – Tāme,” he says.

Iti then approaches the artwork, removes his coat and uses a paintbrush to cross out the incorrect spelling of name in orange paint.

He goes on to repaint his name above with the correct spelling.

According to Stuff, the owner of the artwork Chris Parkin says the act was vandalism.

"As far as I'm concerned it's straight out vandalism," Parkin said.

"No different to someone placing graffiti on a building they don’t own. I expect the police to prosecute him. They certainly would me if I went to Te Papa and vandalised an artwork."

A police spokesperson told 1News they couldn't find a record of a complaint being laid over the incident.

The artwork's creator Dean Proudfoot sent a statement to 1News, saying in part:

"There was no offence intended – it was a clear lack of research on my behalf. This series of works has always been about celebrating Aotearoa New Zealand’s unique characters.

"Tāme is the epitome of what makes our country special.

"What Tāme has done in 'correcting' it, has given the work a new life with a far more powerful meaning. It has been elevated. I thank him for that and from what I’ve learnt as well."