New Zealand, 1908–1988
Untitled (from the verandah at Speargrass Station) 1950s
watercolour on paper, 376 x 440 mm
Collection of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū: gifted by Anne Rush in memory of her mother Adele in 2007. ACC: 1043
This painting is the view from the artist’s farmhouse verandah at Speargrass Station. Washbourn and her husband Gerald Goulter moved to this high-country farm in 1951. The painting includes the view looking down the valley to the Twins, part of the mountain range of the Nelson Lakes area where this farm is situated.
The main focus of the image is the artist’s garden. She has made a lively image full of movement using the unusual and dramatic forms of the cacti and succulent plants, which, if the painting is anything to go by, appears to have thrived in this semi-alpine environment. One of her sons recalls how he and his brother occasionally had to help ‘tidy up’ this garden – not one of their favourite chores due to the prickly spines and sharp edges of the plants.