- Harry Courtney Archer estate, 2002
- Reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus
- 580 x 580 x 35mm
- View on google maps
At the start of 1941, Rita Angus, then a leading figure in Christchurch art circles, left the city for good. It was wartime. With many being directed into prescribed war effort work, she chose to take up employment for several months on a tobacco farm at Pangatotara, near Motueka in the Nelson district. There she worked alongside fellow pacifists, including artist Chrystabel Aitken and Courtney Archer, who owned this painting. Long days filled with demanding physical labour saw Angus harvesting and grading tobacco leaves and sometimes tending the drying kilns on the night shift. Travelling into Nelson on occasional weekends meant walking more than twelve kilometres to the nearest bus stop. Despite the demands of such a life, and shortages of art materials, Angus managed to find time to paint the local landscape, including this view of a hop kiln near Motueka. By April, she was able to report: “The harvest is over, and I am glad, as I am very, very weary of physical labour.”
(Beneath the ranges, 18 February – 23 October 2017)
One of my favourite drives in the South Island is along the Motueka Valley Highway past Pangatotara and on to Motueka and Riwaka - not only for the stunning landscape and beautiful Tasman Bay beyond but also for the amazing hop gardens that predominate in the area.
I couldn't resist a selection of beer related art works from the Gallery's collection. My favourite is Hogarth's Bear drinking beer or is that beer drinking bear.
Malt is the soul of beer and yeast gives it life but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life. Tom Inglis
This article first appeared in The Press on 28 December 2005
"Malt is the soul of beer and yeast gives it life but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life." Tom Inglis
Nelson has long held a strong reputation for growing excellent hops with a substantial industry based on the crop being developed in the region in the late 19th century. Motueka in particular has an extremely suitable climate for growing hops and the majority of New Zealand's hop production occurs within close proximity of the town. By the 1940s commercial production of hops had fully developed into a successful horticultural enterprise which Rita Angus has in part captured in her 1941 watercolour Untitled (Hop Kilns, Motueka).