Working from nature 1949-58

Quiet, sustained contemplation of nature was central to Rita Angus’s work. Her friend Bill Sutton remembered her painting the pear blossom at Clifton. When the wind blew it to the ground, ‘she just put the painting away until the next blossom season’.

Angus could paint flowers and other plants with extraordinary detail and accuracy, but this was far from her only concern. Nature was a source of inspiration for mystical, symbolic, and even abstract images. ‘Everything I paint has a sense of being alive,’ she once remarked.

Angus painted many of her flower studies and botanical studies in her parents’ garden at Waikanae, north of Wellington, where they lived from 1943 to 1953. Others are the result of journeys further afield.

All artworks are reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus.