Jane Zusters

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1951

Life drawing at Jane's place, 49 Effingham St, North Beach

  • 1977
  • Silver gelatin print
  • Gift of the Friends of Christchurch Art Gallery, 2022, in celebration of their 50th Anniversary 1971-2021
  • 201 x 252mm
  • 2022/063

Ōtautahi Christchurch artist Jane Zusters is a painter, photographer and ceramicist. These recently acquired photographs capture Jane’s bohemian life and friends in Christchurch in the late 1970s, and precede a period when she was mainly painting. Tender and intimate, they give us a sense of warm friendships and a supportive community, despite the conservatism of Christchurch at the time, and they address queer histories, gender and identity.

We see artists gathering for a life-drawing session at Jane’s house in North Beach, their coffee cups resting on woven mats as they sketch; and a topless friend, Margaret Flaws, casually holding the guy ropes of a tent in Punakaiki, her arms outstretched like a crucifix. While these works share the formal elements of her painting, such as strong composition and contrast, they are also an important social record of the times.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History