Work of Geral­dine artist

The Timaru Herald - - Weekend -

Es­ther Hope (nee Barker) is one of New Zealand’s most prom­i­nent wa­ter colour painters and fea­tures in most of the coun­try’s gal­leries.

Born in Wood­bury near Geral­dine, she was in­tro­duced to art by her mother Emily Studholme and went on to study art un­der Mar­garet Stod­dart in 1907. Stod­dart in­tro­duced Hope to the work of James Whistler and en­cour­aged Hope to get in­spi­ra­tion from the nat­u­ral world and land­scape en­vi­ron­ment.

In 1912 Hope trav­elled to Eng­land and at the out­break of WWI she was in Brit­tany with a group of artists. In 1919 she re­turned to New Zealand and mar­ried Henry Nor­man Hope and they made their home at Grampians Sta­tion in the Macken­zie Coun­try. They re­tired to Ti­maru in 1956.

In the paint­ing be­low, Hope has cap­tured the hu­man view­point of the white gum tree. The full canopy has been cut from the frame of the pa­per. This is in vast con­trast to her Macken­zie land­scape scenes which she is well known for; these of­ten de­pict large open space panora­mas.

Hope is a master of wa­ter­colour. Here she has ap­plied thick colour­ful pur­ples, blues and greens, which bring the white gum ac­cent in fo­cus and cen­tre. Her brush­strokes are vis­i­ble and rich in mark mak­ing. The vi­brant coloured pur­ple and muted brown shad­ows fill the back­ground in blocks of colour, giv­ing an over­all re­laxed, loose feel­ing. There is an al­most ab­stract ar­range­ment of the light gum trunk in con­trast to the shad­owy shapes be­hind.

This work is on dis­play as part of the Al­lur­ing Shores Ex­hi­bi­tion which high­lights New Zealand artists who trav­elled over­seas to help ex­pand their artis­tic prac­tices.

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