Percival River, Hanmer

Percival River, Hanmer, Ngarita Johnstone, Watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2331

Ngarita Johnstone, Watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2331

Though Ngarita Johnstone was a talented draughtswoman and had potential to be a great painter also, it was rare that she practised in these mediums. She attributed much of her reluctance to the criticism she received from her father, who regularly exhibited his oil and watercolour paintings. In an interview, Johnstone stated that she had always disliked painting in oil, and had torn up most of the ones she started. She did, however, enjoy the medium of watercolour. Interestingly, her chosen setting of Percival River, near Hanmer, was one to which her father regularly travelled and painted also. It is an autumnal scene, as shown by the pink-red leaves on the central trees, and the skeletal bare trunk of the tree in the foreground. Above the hills in the distance, a foreboding blue-grey sky looms, threatening the river with rain.

Ngarita Johnstone : A selection of artworks

Click on the thumbnails to discover more about this striking selection of artworks by Ngarita Johnstone. Images selected and written about by Alice Tappenden.

Assisi Border, Ngarita Johnstone, Graphite, pen, wash, and twink on paper, mounted. UC/MBL/2248
Untitled [Table Cloth with Assisi Border], Ngarita Johnstone, Embroidery and cross-stitch on linen, Date unknown. UC/MBL/2274
Panel in Appliqué, Ngarita Johnstone, Watercolour with applique stitches, c. 1950. UC/MBL/2105
Untitled [Nativity Illumination], [Ngarita Johnstone], Illuminated calligraphy on paper mounted in cardboard frame. UC/MBL/2198
Untitled [Embroidery Sampler], Ngarita Johnstone, 1947, Embroidery on Linen with cotton, silk and wool threads. UC/MBL/2240
Untitled [Place Setting], Ngarita Johnstone, Embroidery on linen. UC/MBL/2270
Untitled [Table runner], Ngarita Johnstone, Embroidery on linen. UC/MBL/2271
Trees near Te Anau, Ngarita Johnstone, 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on paper. UC/MBL/2285
Percival River, Hanmer, Ngarita Johnstone, Watercolour on paper. UC/MBL/2331
  • Phone Numbers
    Enquiries: +64 3 364 2753 (internal ext 8669)
  • Email Enquiries
    Lydia Baxendell
    Art Collections Curator
    Macmillan Brown Library
  • Postal Address
    Macmillan Brown Library
    University of Canterbury
    Private Bag 4800
    Christchurch 8140