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Self-portrait (with moth and caterpillar)
Self-portrait (with moth and caterpillar) 1943
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pencil and watercolour, 330 x 240 mm
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, on loan from the Rita Angus Estate
Rita Angus began this self-portrait soon after moving to Clifton, a suburb of Christchurch, but left it unfinished. She stands on the beach, with symbols of growth and transformation around her.
Angus was withdrawing into her art. In 1943, she wrote: ‘I’ve grown weary of the militarist world, and I’m content to live quietly, painting, I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember, it’s so much a part of me … I haven’t any desire for success or the limelight, and no further wish to explain myself.’
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