- Oil on canvas board
- Purchased 2003
- 482 x 545mm
- View on google maps
French-born Louise Henderson married a New Zealander and came to Ōtautahi Christchurch in 1925. She relished the freedom of her new life, exploring in and painting the hill country of Te Waipounamu and often sleeping out alone under the stars. In 1936, she undertook a ten-day painting trip to Cass, in the Southern Alps, with her friends Rita Angus and Julia Scarvell. Her translation of that landscape is alive with luminous colour and dynamic movement, capturing jagged ridgelines, undulating hills and the curving lines of telegraph wires. The mountain, its slopes depicted blue with shadow, is called the Pyramid – much easier to look at than to climb.
(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )
Educator, politician and longtime Gallery supporter Margaret Austin has supplied the following notes on this painting:
The glacial moraine separates the Cass Valley from the Waimakariri River near the Mt White Bridge where the train would stop if you let them know in advance.
The powerline is going up Transmission Gully where there is a track reckoned to be a shortcut to the Waimak but very hard work. The blue mountain is The Pyramid - a misery climb!! Behind it is Woolshed Hill rising out of the Hawdon River and a favoured site for School Field Trips since the Boys’ High School has a hut at its base. The black line about two thirds up marks a fairly large swamp with lots of important botanical specimens and a site for collecting mountain grasshoppers. The mountains at the back rise out of the Poulter River and Mt White Station. The best way of getting there was to walk up the Andrews Stream, through the Hallelujah swamp (wet to the waist usually) and down to the Poulter.