Jane Zusters

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1951


  • 1978
  • Hand-coloured photograph
  • Purchased 1978
  • 176 x 176mm
  • 78/11

Several decades separate Rita Angus and Jane Zusters, but both artists were interested in the theme of the domestic garden. Rita was a fiercely independent artist who worked hard to maintain her career and was a role model for later generations. In 1944 she wrote, “I hope that men of culture in NZ will come to understand the woman artist better. […] Some women do not, nor wish to paint as men do.” Rita and Jane’s works show the garden as a place of contemplation and retreat from the world. Rita’s parents’ garden at Waikanae, the subject in this watercolour, provided a much needed refuge for the artist on several occasions. The domestic garden was not only a place of healing and recuperation for Rita, but also an important source of material for her celebrated flower paintings and still-life subjects.

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

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • [1969 Comeback Special 27 August – 6 November 2016] (https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/exhibitions/1969-comeback-special)

    During the mid 1970s Jane Zusters was part of New Zealand’s growing feminist art movement, and her work was included in the historically important exhibition Woman’s Art: An Exhibition of Six Women Artists organised by Allie Eagle at the Robert McDougall Art Gallery in 1975. Alongside painting, photography has been an important element in Zusters’ work throughout her career and she has often brought the two together in works like this hand-coloured photograph. Muir acquired the work in 1978 from a group exhibition at the Canterbury Society of Arts that included Zusters, Eagle and Anna Keir.

    (1969 Comeback Special 27 August – 6 November 2016)