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Hodgkins, Frances Mary (New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947), Artist
North End of George Street, Dunedin.
222 x 140 mm paper size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 1963 by Miss Cora Gow in memory of her childhood days in Dunedin.
A misty blue view of the very edge of town, with a solitary figure riding along the bank of the Water of Leith – here are the hallmarks of a rural idyll. But since proximity to the river was essential for a number of Dunedin industries, including a steam laundry, a paper mill and several tanneries, this is not a country church with a steeple – it is a factory with a tall chimney. William Hodgkins had died in February and Frances and her mother Rachel, beginning a new phase of their lives, moved down from Roslyn to a smaller house in Castle Street. It is quite a short walk from there to the north end of George Street and this sunny day with just a thin layer of scudding cloud no doubt encouraged Frances to go outdoors with her paper and paints. Lessons from Nerli have clearly helped to loosen her brushwork and she is now applying colour in broad washes. She finishes the foreground of her painting with confident staccato dashes of colour to suggest the reedy grasses on the water’s edge. This was one of two works she showed at the 1898 Otago Jubilee Industrial Exhibition and it sold for £2-2-0, no doubt a welcome addition to Frances’s travel fund.

not on view

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