Gertrude Ball

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1879, d.1971

Gorge, Arrowtown

Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland watercolourist Gertrude Ball moved to London to further her art training in 1920. She struggled to make a living as an artist, although she regularly exhibited with the Royal Academy of Arts. She became a member of the Society of Graphic Art and the Society of Women Artists, but described her journey as an artist as “a long uphill row to hoe”. She was friends with the Auckland printmaker Hilda Wiseman, who may have encouraged her to take up the woodcut. Around 1936 she began working on a major publication to be titled British Castles: A Book of Woodcuts, Written and Illustrated by Gertrude Ball. Although ultimately unpublished, it involved the creation of thirty woodcuts. Returning to Aotearoa after World War II she travelled to Central Otago with fellow artist Mabel Still, making several woodcuts of the region.

Ink on Paper: Aotearoa New Zealand Printmakers of the Modern Era, 11 February – 28 May 2023

Exhibition History