Doris Lusk

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1916, d.1990

The Swing Bridge, Kawarau

  • Presented by Friends of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery
  • Oil on canvas
  • 800 x 990mm
  • 85/79
  • 1985
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Lusk experimented with a variety of materials and styles throughout her career, “riding the media” to expand her arsenal of painting techniques. Often discoveries in one field were productively translated across into other modes. To make her 1985 watercolour of the bridge over the Clutha River, Lusk first dampened a stretched canvas, to which she applied broad washes of fluid colour. Paint was then flicked over the still-wet surface, creating a splatter effect that convincingly denoted the scrubby Central Otago terrain. Painted in the same year, The Swing Bridge, Kawarau tackles a similar subject in oils, with Lusk using a dramatically angled view to contrast the forthright utility of the bridge structure with the irregular rocky landscape and surging water beneath.

(Doris Lusk: Practical Visionary, 4 June – 30 October 2016)