CPIT Library art display ending soon

Rita Angus, Blythe's Buildings, Napier 1932, watercolour, 262 x 370 mm. (CPIT Artwork Collection)

To make way for our next display of photos from the CPIT archives for Archives and Records Week, our Hidden Treasures exhibit (just inside the entrance to the library) will be coming down on Thursday (29th of April). 

In addition to works by Philip Trusttum, Margaret Stoddard and Evelyn Page we also have a piece by Rita Angus.  Blythe’s Buildings was recently returned to CPIT from Te Papa where it was part of the “Rita Angus: Life and Vision” exhibition. 

Added to the CPIT collection 1969, Blythe’s Buildings was painted in the winter of 1932.  It was begun in 1931 when Angus and her husband Alfred Cook  sketched amongst the ruined buildings following the Napier Earthquake .   

Trevalayan (2008) in “Rita Angus: An Artists Life“, writes that Rita was  “interested in the abstract qualities of her subject. In Blythe’s Buildings, Napier, she closes in on the ruins so that they almost entirely fill the picture, and reduces their blank walls and empty window cavities to a series of flat planes, outlined in pencil.” (Trevalayan, 2008, p. 46). 

In addition to the book by Trevelyan we have others  in the library about Rita Angus including Rita Angus: Life and Vision (the book of the Te Papa exhibition), “Rita Angus: live to paint & paint to live” by Vita Cochran, and “Rita Angus“, a catalogue for an exhibition organised by the National Art Gallery in 1982.

War, peace and Anzac Day

Anzac Day in New Zealand is held on the 25th of April each year to commemorate New Zealanders killed in war and to honour returned servicemen and women.

However it hasn’t always been free of controversy, for years Anzac Day has also been used as a  time of protest and for the promotion of peace. There were numerous anti-war protests during the Vietnam War era, and as recently as 2007 there were protests against New Zealands involvement in Afganistan.  The 2007 protest included the burning of the New Zealand flag at the Anzac Day service in Wellington, two protesters were arrested.

This year is no exception with the Peace Movement Aotearoa causing controversy by handing out white poppies in exchange for donations at the same time that the Returned Service Association sell the tradtional red poppies.  There have been some angry reaction (see the comments on Stuff), including from Veterans’ Affairs Minister Judith Collins who described the actions a “disrespectful”.

Do you think that it is disrepectful for the Peace Movement  Aotearoa to be handing out white poppies prior to Anzac Day?  Or should Anzac Day be seen as a day to promote peace as well a time to remember sacrifices made in war? 

For a range of resources related to Anzac Day from local museums, archives and libraries I have created a search tool using the Digital New Zealand search widget.  Type “Christchurch” into the search box for Anzac Day resources related to Christchurch.

Sullivan Avenue library to open soon


The new Sullivan Avenue library at the Trades Innovation Institute of CPIT is scheduled to open in the next couple of weeks.  The library will have the books, DVDs, videos and magazines from the city campus library that relate to the courses taught at the Institute.   New shelving is now being installed, with the books and other materials to be moved there this week.

As the library will only be staffed limited hours, RFID technology will be in place to allow users to self issue and return books.   See the library blog of 25 March for details on this exciting technology.

Last chance to see hidden treasures

EVELYN PAGE Pohutukawa Rina c 1930, oil, 910 x 641 mm. (CPIT Artwork Collection)

The Hidden Treasures from CPIT Artwork Collection display is only on for a another couple of weeks so if you haven’t seem it then come down to the library and have a look.   As well as a work each by Phillip Trusttum, Margaret Stoddard and Rita Angus there is a work Pohutukawa Rina by Evelyn Page.  It’s companion piece December Morn is currently on show at the Christchurch Art Gallery in the Naked and the Nude.

Evelyn Page (nee Polson) was born in Christchurch and studied at the Canterbury College of Art from 1915 – 1921.   She began painting and exibiting nudes in the 1930s and 1940s when it was still quite rare to do so in New Zealand.

Pohutukawa Rina along with a number of other nudes painted by Page in the late 1920s caused a bit of a stir in the puritanical quarters of the New Zealand art world of the time.  Undetered she continued to paint nudes for the rest of her life including Nude in a Doorway which she painted when she was 74.

For more information about Evelyn Page the following article apeared in Art New Zealand in 1982 and is avialable online, Evelyn Page: Reflecting the Human Presence .

Hidden Treasures from the CPIT Artwork Collection is on display in the CPIT Library until mid April 2010.