Doris Lusk

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1916, d.1990

Beyond Porter’s Pass IV

  • 1969
  • Watercolour and ink
  • William A Sutton bequest, 2000
  • 545 x 800mm
  • 2000/126
  • View on google maps

The dramatic landscapes of the nearby Southern Alps offered Lusk ample opportunities to test her skill. This remarkably fluid work, in which dark ink flick-marks and loose ochre washes define the scarred, crumbling foothills in strong contrast to the crisp white mountains beyond, gives an indication of her exceptional ability in this notoriously challenging medium. Confident and spontaneous, it reveals an artist not confined by representation, but instead pushing her materials to their limit to create an expressive work that vibrates with energy and movement.

(Doris Lusk: Practical Visionary, 4 June – 30 October 2016)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Although Doris Lusk is perhaps better known today for her oil paintings, watercolours also formed a major component of her output. Living in Christchurch, the Southern Alps were a favoured area for the artist. Showing the development of her mature style, Lusk has worked in a very loose and spontaneous manner in Beyond Porter’s Pass IV. The earthy tones used for the foothills in the foreground contrast strongly with the white of the snow-capped mountain ranges and the blue of the sky beyond. Lusk was born in Dunedin, where she held her first exhibition in 1936. With her husband, Dermot Holland, Lusk moved to Christchurch in 1943. She exhibited with both the Canterbury Society of Arts and The Group. A potter as well as a painter, she tutored in pottery from 1947 and was a foundation member of the Canterbury Potters Association in 1965. From 1966 to 1981 Lusk taught at the School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury.