Alfred Wilson Walsh

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1859, d.1916

Taumutu

Taumutu, on the banks of Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora), 45 kilometres to the south-west of Christchurch, is typical of the coastal locations in which Alfred Walsh liked to sketch. It is still a farming area with a commercial fishing base. Walsh developed a distinctly local and individual style, primarily using the plein air approach, painting outdoors. He has built up the composition with broad washes of colours, then added detail with a drier brush. Walsh was particularly interested in the effects of light, as can be seen here in the shadows caused by the boats on the water’s surface. Born in Kyneton, Australia, Walsh arrived in Dunedin with his family in 1864. In 1876 he joined the Public Works Department as a draughtsman, and also began attending classes at the Dunedin School of Art. In 1887 Walsh was appointed assistant master at Canterbury College School of Art, beginning a long and very influential teaching career that would last 24 years.