Doris Lusk

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1916, d.1990

Imagined Projects II, Limeworks

  • 1983
  • Acrylic on canvas
  • Purchased, 1984
  • 643 x 918mm
  • 84/57

After retiring from her lecturer’s position at the University of Canterbury art school in 1981, Lusk embarked upon what would become her last important body of work. It combined two distinct but related elements: a series of composite oil paintings of remembered and invented views, and seven “imagined projects” in which apparently functional buildings – in these two examples, inspired by limeworks in Ross, on the West Coast, and Takaka, near Nelson, respectively – were inserted into fictional settings. Springing like picture-book pop-ups from shimmering landscapes stained with watered-down acrylic paint, these enigmatic structures are rendered in crisply masked opaque white. Part blueprint, part castles in the air, they suggest both utility andmystery. The sense of solidity and industry that appealed to Lusk in the structures she included in earlier works, disrupted and subverted in the Demolition series, seems here to transform into something much less earth bound, more abstract: buildings for dreaming in.

(Doris Lusk: Practical Visionary, 4 June – 30 October 2016)

Watch Bill Sutton discussing Doris Lusk's landscapes.

Exhibition History