- Oil on canvas board
- Purchased 2003
- 482 x 545mm
- View on google maps
Henderson produced this landscape on a ten-day painting trip to the railway settlement of Cass in the Southern Alps, with her friends Rita Angus and Julia Scarvell. It is a companion work to Angus’s more famous Cass, and similarly represents the vigorous new spirit of critical enquiry in New Zealand art of the 1930s. Like Angus, Henderson used a simplified modernist treatment of form to represent the modernising landscape, depicting its utilitarian buildings and rickety telegraph poles. The faint traces of human presence she captures underline the essential majesty of the alpine landscape. Up in the mountains, Henderson found the freedom to further develop ways of painting – and seeing – that reflected the independence of her distinctive vision.
(Louise Henderson: From Life, 27 June – 11 October 2020)
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.