Untitled [Nativity Illumination]
[Ngarita Johnstone], Illuminated calligraphy on paper mounted in cardboard frame. UC/MBL/2198
As part of Ngarita Johnstone’s design curriculum at the Canterbury College School of Art, she was taught the technique of illumination, which would later become and important aspect of her teaching practise. In the Macmillan Brown Collection, there are several examples of Ngarita and her students’ work in these areas. Illuminated manuscripts utilise calligraphy with decorative additions such as borders and illustration, and most commonly, gold or silver lettering. In this case, Johnstone has chosen to depict the story of the birth of Christ. She has written it in precise lettering in black ink, and has then illuminated the first letters of each sentence in gold leaf. Additionally, a guiding star at the top has been illuminated in gold, and a decorative border surrounds the text. Below is a small illustration of the angels and Mary and Joseph surrounding the manger and baby Jesus.
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.