Sir Mountford Tosswill (Toss) Woollaston
New Zealand, 1910–1998
Kiln near Riwaka 1971
watercolour on paper, 268 x 348 mm
Collection of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū: gifted by the artist in 1979. ACC: 528
Toss Woollaston first came to the Nelson region as a teenager, looking for rural work. After studying in Christchurch and Dunedin, and spending some time in Greymouth, he settled in Riwaka, where he built a house and studio. He is one of New Zealand’s most important painters of the twentieth century.
Woollaston painted the landscapes he knew and the people around him over and over again, explaining his style as one where he wanted ‘to reach at one stroke the essence of the feeling I had for the landscape’.
In Kiln near Riwaka, his expressionistic style has captured the shapes and colours of the farm sheds and hop kiln, against a backdrop of the steep-sided Tākaka hills – a rural landscape that was very familiar to him.
This actual scene can be glimpsed from State Highway 60 before the turnoff to Kaiteriteri and Tākaka Hill.