"I like Wainui, quaint, charming, rather like a Pieter Bruegel subject with the haymaking in progress." Rita Angus to Douglas Lilburn, 1943
Last night I gave a talk on works recently acquired by the Gallery and was struck by the audience's response to the three Rita Angus watercolours of Wainui that we have been fortunate enough to acquire since 2010. Indeed so popular were they with the audience that at the end of my talk there was a request to put the slides of them back up on the screen. And rightly so, as I think these works are some of Rita's finest – exquisite gems painted with assurance, skill and breathtaking attention to detail, they are the sort of works that punch well above their weight. Here's a link to an article giving more details on Rita's extraordinary Wainui series - check it out.
Wainui makes for a perfect day trip from Christchurch, a quieter more laid-back destination than Akaroa, which it has to be said can get a little chaotic with the cruise ships visiting over summer. Although there are a few more baches at Wainui than when Rita was there in 1943, it still has amazing views across the harbour, out to Timutimu Head and surrounding hills. One staff member's pick for a summer's day trip.