Margaret Stoddart

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934

An Otira Stream (also known as Mountain Rata)

About the artist

Stoddart, Margaret Olrog (Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934)

Margaret Stoddart, from The Weekly Press 9 June 1909

Margaret Stoddart first made the trip along the West Coast Road over Arthur’s Pass and through the Otira Gorge in April 1896, travelling in a hired wagon with several companions. Around 1927 Stoddart completed several watercolours of the gorge including An Otira Stream (also known as Mountain rata). In this work the artist combines her interest in flower painting with landscape to complete a vibrant vision of southern rata in full bloom amongst the rugged Otira terrain. In the summer months of January and February the mountain slopes of the Otira Gorge come alive with the crimson flowers of southern rata.

earlier labels about this work
  • For the exhibition 'I see red' at Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures, Porirua (14 March - 21 June 2009), this work appeared with the following label:

    With its vivid crimson flowers that bloom in summer, the mountain rata is related closely to the pohutukawa, or New Zealand Christmas tree. Both the rata and pohutukawa are under threat from people and introduced species like possums.

    Well-known for her watercolour flower paintings, Margaret Stoddart was also a keen tramper who loved to spend time in the South Island mountains.