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James Dall’s yellow rātā

By Catherine Field-Dodgson Many of Emily Cumming Harris’s artworks have disappeared over the past hundred years, but some paintings that we would love to see reappear are her studies of yellow rātā. Thanks to her diary and several newspaper articles, we know that Emily painted more than one version of the climbing yellow rātā vine Read More…

Looking for the 1906 paintings

By Catherine Field-Dodgson Recently we have been looking into the twelve large flower studies in oil that Emily Harris painted for the 1906-07 New Zealand International Exhibition in Christchurch. The Christchurch International Exhibition was an expansive display of nationalism: a way to promote tourism, products and a sense of colonial New Zealand identity to the Read More…

Constance Weyergang: Artist, Musician, Poet

By Michele Leggott Summer 1950. Constance Weyergang, 74, is looking at the black sand and sparkling waters of Ngamotu Beach in New Plymouth. The beach is adjacent to the port that serves Taranaki and both are sheltered by a breakwater. Among the swimmers and sunbathers Constance watches could be my young parents, engaged but not Read More…

Three Paintings from 1906

By Michele Leggott Among the artists and photographers listed in the Nelson, Marlborough and Westland volume of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand (1906) is an entry for Emily Harris: Harris, Miss Emily Cumming, Artist, Nile Street, Nelson. Miss Harris was born at Plymouth, England, and is a daughter of the late Mr. Edwin Harris, one Read More…

Speaking Back to Emily Harris

By Michele Leggott We’ve noticed from the outset of our research into Emily Harris’s art and writing that responding creatively is a powerful tool for reflecting on the differences between Emily’s world and our own. There is the archival collage ‘Emily and Her Sisters,’ composed in the slipstream of discovering family artwork and papers at Read More…