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Record Image
Hodgkins, Frances Mary (New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947), Artist
Welsh Farm
375 x 543 mm sight size
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1971 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society
While she was staying at Dolaucothy in Wales, Frances made a new friend, Eardley Knollys, who worked for the National Trust, so her Welsh escape had another fortunate outcome. She wrote to him: ‘I think quite often, at least twice a week of the chance or accident which blew me into this very green valley … now browning & falling to the autumn gales – and so, at last, met you –’.(1) In 2000 Justin Paton commented on the way Frances Hodgkins could turn her back on tumultuous and tragic events when she painted. ‘“A good poem is very nearly a utopia” wrote the poet W. H. Auden, and Hodgkins reminds us that the same can be true of the visual arts. These gouaches from the 1940s are supreme statements of the idea that a painting can offer a conditional paradise – a small world of pleasure and equilibrium. As Hodgkins wrote in 1941, “I, my medium and my subject act and react to produce new and vital creations, and if possible, create a perfect balance.”'(2) Eardley Knollys built up a collection of her paintings and in 1971 the Dunedin Public Art Gallery bought several of them.

1. Letter to Eardley Knollys, 31 October 1942, Gill, p 530
2. Lyric Notes exhibition label, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, June 2000

not on view

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