Sir Mountford Tosswill (Toss) Woollaston
New Zealand, 1910–1998
From Spooners Range 1974
oil on board, 1200 x 2700 mm
Collection of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū: gifted 2012 by Peter and Hilary McLeavey and family, in memory of Jessica and Hilcote Pitts-Brown. ACC: 1156
This painting was gifted to The Suter by Peter and Hilary McLeavey. Peter McLeavey was Toss Woollaston’s art dealer. They first met in Greymouth, and when McLeavey opened his commercial gallery in Wellington in 1968, it was with an exhibition of Woollaston’s paintings.
Woollaston felt that McLeavey had brought a miraculous change to his life. Now he could paint full-time, with someone else focusing on selling his paintings.
Many of Woollaston’s landscapes are conceived from a high vantage point, embracing more than the eye can see in one glance. From Spooners Range depicts the spectacular view looking towards Tasman Bay, taken from Spooners Saddle. With its earthy tones, Woollaston shows the ranges and valleys stepping down to the Richmond Plains, framed either side by the Wharepapa/Arthur Range and the Richmond Ranges.