by Stephanie McEwin
A Celebration of 20th Century Canterbury Women Artists
7 - 19 March 2013
cnr Riccarton Road & Paeroa Street, Christchurch
“My Grandmother Sadie Harding, was a Fine Arts student at Canterbury University (then The Canterbury College School of Art) in 1925 and 1926 and as a 20th century woman, was one of those who asserted their newfound independence by working as painters, politicians and philanthropists. Her classmates at University and her contemporaries were none other than Olivia Spencer Bower, Rhona Haszard, Rata Lovell- Smith, Evelyn Polson, Chrystabel Aitken, Ngaio Marsh and sisters Jean and Rita Angus. Through association with my grandmother these great ladies have become my "Artist Aunties" says Stephanie McEwin.
From Kate Sheppard, who won universal suffrage, to Lady Diana Isaac, who was an environmentalist and a great patron of the arts, these 20th century Canterbury Ladies are as important in the re-building process of our city, as are bricks and mortar. They represent the heart and soul of who we are!
KATE SHEPPARD... Won universal suffrage in
1893 – her face adorns our $10 bank note.
BIDDY WAYMOUTH... Carved mantle pieces at
Mona Vale - Arts and Crafts movement
MARGARET STODDART... First generation of women
artists born in New Zealand - first
VIOLA MACMILLAN BROWN. Exhibited with The Group
(PAGE)... Painted nudes of local women on the
DAME NGAIO MARSH... Shared a studio in Cashel Street with fellow students and formed
1895-1982 "The Group" in 1927 as a reaction to the conservative art establishment
CHRYSTABEL AITKEN... Studied with Francis Shurrock
- known for her silver jewellery boxes
RATA LOVELL-SMITH... Kate Sheppard was an early
influence. Rata also taught at Canterbury
At 18 was known for her bohemian clothing - she died at a
My grandmother who studied fine arts for two years at
BOWER... Explored the possibility that women painters had
1905-1982 to offer - gender and art
Studied sculpture with Francis Shurrock - sister of
RITA ANGUS... One
of the founders of "The Group"- lived in Sumner
LADY DIANA ISAAC...
Environmentalist, businesswoman and patron of the arts
For the last thirty years, predominantly as a portrait and figurative artist, Stephanie has sold many works to both private clients and corporations. She managed her own public studio space called “Art Lounge” in Christchurch’s prestigious inner city lanes.
Today she is a final year Bachelor of Fine Arts student at Canterbury University.
This body of work is the end result of her studies during 2012. Her grandmother gave her a personal involvement however this Exhibition is much more than that. It is a chance to tell the story on how much these women have shaped the Canterbury art scene for future generations to come.