Trees near Te Anau

Trees near Te Anau, Ngarita Johnstone, 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on paper. UC/MBL/2285

Ngarita Johnstone, 1990, Graphite and coloured pencil on paper. UC/MBL/2285

In the later stages of her career, and particularly following her retirement, Ngarita Johnstone was able to devote much of her time to travelling throughout the South Island to draw and photograph. Trees near Te Anau shows her fondness for both the drawing medium and the New Zealand landscape. It is one of the few completed drawings by Ngarita in the Macmillan Brown collection, and shows a remarkable shift from the embroidered fabrics that she produced during her time at art school, to an assured and fluid drawing style. Upon a hillside sit five trees in silhouette. Their trunks are skeletally thin, however their branches widen and are filled with soft, thick bunches of leaves. This is the only area of precise detail within the drawing; the rest of the landscape has been outlined, but only softly shaded within. The lower thirds of the landscape are rendered in standard graphite pencil, which is paired with a cool blue sky, suggesting a winter’s landscape.

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
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