About Stoddart Cottage

Stoddart CottageThe birthplace of one of New Zealand’s foremost 19th century artists, Margaret Stoddart, the cottage is situated at Stoddart Point, Diamond Harbour.

The cottage is owned by Christchurch City Council and leased to the Stoddart Cottage Trust.

The cottage is open to the public 10am to 4pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday, most public holidays and at other times by arrangement.

Exhibitions by local artists change monthly.

The Cottage is available to hire for exhibitions, meetings and events.

For enquiries and bookings contact Jo Burzynska 021 776 161 or info@stoddartcottage.nz
The contact for the Stoddart Cottage Trust is Paula Smith 027 632 9709, (03) 329 4445 or famvanbeynen@snap.net.nz.

Stoddart Cottage Trust Annual Report: 2019 – 2020

Visit the new Stoddart Cottage website

August Exhibition

For the Love of Art at Stoddart Cottage

5-28 August 2022

Opening Event: Saturday 6 August, 2.30-4pm (all welcome)

For close to 80 years, a group of amateur Diamond Harbour artists have been inspired by the landscapes and flora of the area in which respected Canterbury painter, Margaret Stoddart was raised. The Diamond Harbour Art Group (DHAG) has convened weekly over those decades, showcasing their work through regular exhibitions. Their latest show running throughout August, they have called For the Love of Art. Like many of the group’s exhibitions, it is fittingly being held at the gallery of Stoddart Cottage,

Stoddart Cottage is also home to the Stoddart Cottage Artisans, who run a shop on the premises. This thirty-strong group of artists and crafts people from around the harbour basin, range from highly regarded professionals to talented amateurs. The shop sells a wide range of affordable handmade products, from ceramics to clothing, wooden toys to jewellery. In addition, a visit to the cottage offers the opportunity to see some of Margaret Stoddart’s own work, and learn about the history of this oldest colonial dwelling in Diamond Harbour and its creative past inhabitants.

July Exhibition

Radical Botanical Exhibition, Workshop & Talk

1-31 July 2022

Opening Event: Saturday 2 July, 2-4pm (all welcome)

In Radical Botanical, the July exhibition at Stoddart Cottage Gallery, the plants are active, even provocative. Through painting, photography, assemblage, ceramics, printmaking, olfactory art and mixed media, the artists of this group show all explore critical, playful, and challenging new ways of engaging with plants. Novel creative methods generate new perspectives on flora that adorn, perfume, cure, invade, or struggle for survival. Sensitive engagements with vegetation stimulate ecological and cultural exchange, while past botanical traditions are reimagined or critiqued, breaking down hierarchies of artistic practice, gender and species.

Radical Botanical’s artists are local, national and international, and include: Sarah Amazinnia, Sarah Anderson, Sharnaé Beardsley, Justyna Burzynska, Marisa Cappetta, Tim Cheesebrough, Karen Colyer, Jo Ernsten, Jo Ewing, Masako Fisher, Evelyn Keeley, Graeme Keeley, Prue Kennard, Soon-Lee Spicer, Ilze Jansen van Rensburg, Cherei Richan, Innocenza Toritto, and Giselle Weir.

Radical Botanical’s theme echoes the growth of the arts practice of Margaret Stoddart, who was born in the gallery’s historic building. After initially making accurate botanical drawings of native flora, Stoddart moved on to the decorative flower paintings deemed “an appropriate subject for young lady painters”. When she ultimately developed an impressionistic style, she was considered too radical by local critics of her day.

Part of the Radical Botanical programme includes The Temple of Flora – Botanical Assemblage Workshop hosted by exhibitor and skilled botanic artist, Sarah Amazinnia on 17th July across the harbour at her Lyttelton studio. In this workshop, Sarah interweaves hands-on guidance to making your own botanical assemblage from materials she’s gathered in the Banks Peninsula (and Stoddart Cottage’s bountiful garden), with presenting the overlapping art historical traditions of Botanical Art, Vanitas, and Memento Mori.

Art historian, Dr Rosie Ibbotson will also be giving a free talk at the cottage on 31st July exploring Incursive aesthetics: Floral imaginaries, colonial visual cultures, and environmental violence. In this talk, she explores relationships between images and environmental change in later nineteenth-century Aotearoa New Zealand, linking the central vegetal themes of the Arts and Crafts Movement with broader settler preoccupations of modifying land, notions of ‘home’, and imperial anxiety.

Further details and booking information for the workshop and talk can be found on the Stoddart Cottage website

June Exhibition

Look Closer
Kira Aleksandrova and Ian Macleod

3 – 26 June 2022

In Look Closer, Diamond Harbour artists Kira Aleksandrova and Ian Macleod invite viewers to contemplate the detail in their different styles of work. Aleksandrova largely paints in watercolour, actively embracing the spontaneity and unpredictability of this medium. Using a naturalistic style, she skilfully portrays the landscapes and nature of the South Island that inspires her. Macleod’s work is influenced by abstract expressionism. Interested in capturing movement and energy, he creates predominantly small works in acrylic and ink that benefit from stepping up close to view.

Kira Aleksandrova was born in Russia, where she trained in art. Despite this education, painting remained a hobby until she moved to Diamond Harbour two years ago, where she became re-immersed in her arts practice. Aleksandrova now primarily works in watercolour, with some acrylic, and is a member of the Stoddart Cottage Artisans. New Zealand-born, Ian Macleod has long pursued art as his main hobby. Well-travelled, he finds his themes in the world around him: from geographic maps to reflections of light. Within his work, the quest for harmonious compositional solutions is his greatest passion. Aleksandrova and Macleod are partners, who in recent years have exhibited their work at the First Steps exhibition at Linwood Arts Eastside Gallery exhibition and its Mini-Gallery, as well as locally in Diamond Harbour. This is their first exhibition at Stoddart Cottage.

April Exhibition

Karen Gourley
Closer to Nature

1 April – 1 May  – Opening Event Saturday 2 April, 4.30-6.30pm

In Closer to Nature, Diamond Harbour artist, Karen Gourley presents vivid and intimate portraits of the wildlife around her. Using soft pastels, she creates highly detailed and vibrantly coloured works in a realistic style that draw viewers into close emotional encounters with the birds and animals she depicts. She shares the natural elements that captivate her the most: from the intricate detail of a feather to an intense moment of wonder. Through this she seeks to encourage people to take a closer look at nature, creating empathy with a realm that is increasingly under threat.

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and now living in New Zealand, Gourley studied art, art history, and photography, before later going on to pursue a career in accounting. She always kept her interest in art and photography alive, returning to painting in 2014 when she discovered soft pastels and decided to develop her work in this medium. Gourley began producing her own series of wildlife pastel paintings and taking commissions. Birds and wildlife, especially endangered species, are the main subjects of her art, with those of Diamond Harbour a regular source of inspiration.

All welcome to the opening event following current COVID 19 Protection Framework: Red protocols, which require registration: https://www.stoddartcottage.nz/register

March Exhibition

Karen Greenslade, Carolyn Currie and Vic Mangan
Seeing the Lines – we protect what we know, we know what we see

March 4-27 February  – Opening Event Saturday March 5, 4.30-6.30pm

Through its responses to the physical landscape and natural elements of the Banks Peninsula, Seeing the Lines reframes the region’s native Taonga by foregrounding it in the local environment and the art of this exhibition.

Our March exhibition, featuring the work of Karen Greenslade, Carolyn Currie and Vic Mangan, is very much representative of the new curatorial direction at the gallery. From 2022 we have encouraged exhibiting artists to engage with the building’s Diamond Harbour location and legacy of the respected Impressionist artist, Margaret Stoddart, who was born there.

In this group show, the artists seek to counter plant blindness, when plants exist as a backdrop to our lives and art prioritises the human figure. The artists have moved their collaborative art practices away from purely decorative floral vistas, to an engagement with the less obviously aesthetically engaging endemic plants of the place inhabited, reflecting the contemporary shift in concerns towards ecology and the local environment.

Artists have a role in bringing the natural world to the foreground of human attention, refocusing engagements as we cease to be the owners or viewers, and become the companions. Representations of plants in much traditional botanical art depicted them as either a source of good – exotic, fertile, abundant – or as tempting or dangerous.

These works often reflected dominant cultural values and concerns. For example, many early colonial works embodied the era’s European view that regarded nature as raw, brutal and requiring control and civilisation, and New Zealand plants unsuitable for a domestic garden.

The mixed media and print works in this exhibition challenge such limiting perspectives, drawing attention to both the richness of the natural landscapes and native flora of the Banks Peninsula, and the current threats to their existence.

In Karen Greenslade’s series, Layer Upon Layer, images of endemic flora and the landscapes of Banks Peninsula are layered in mixed media on 30 gram rice paper, which is then mounted on pure silk and sealed with natural beeswax.

The compositions include washes in water-based paints and handmade inks reminiscent in form and colour to Lyttelton Harbour and the surrounding Port Hills. These washes are overlaid and interspersed with wood cut prints, pencil, charcoal drawings and finely painted watercolour detail.

The images are sourced from pressed plant samples held at the Allan Herbarium in Lincoln, Canterbury. In these mixed media works the plants are represented as printed designs encompassing the picture plane, suggestions of the flora, rather than true representations; a testament to all that is endangered and threatened in our natural world. The works convey natural worlds reconfigured within the context of a colonial heritage, glimpses of a lost environment.

Carolyn Currie’s series, Line of Demarcation draws inspiration from things that are seen every day while exploring natural boundaries and interventions on Banks Peninsula; examining how man-made and natural boundaries on the Port Hills can add character or detract from the local environment as a whole.

The work incorporates a range of printmaking practices to look beyond the conspicuous to find interest and beauty in unusual objects and subject matter that are frequently overlooked by others.

Primarily woodcut, monoprint and drypoint, linework becomes a key feature in the work. Using multiple layers and pared back imagery, Currie’s process is spontaneous; frequently evolving as she works.

For this body of work, inspiration has come from local maps, incorporating contour lines, cartographic features and the coastline shapes around Te Waipapa (Diamond Harbour) and the wider Te Whakaraupō (Lyttelton Harbour) area.

Vic Mangan’s body of work, Geriatric Orphan uses monoprint and drypoint printmaking processes to explore the widely recognised but little understood plant Muehlenbeckia. Traditionally known as tororato or pohuehue, and colloquially as zig-zag bush, it is a typical native shrub.

While commonly cultivated, it is rare and endangered in the wild, with the Kaitorete spit on the south-west edge of Banks Peninsula containing 90% of the world’s population of Muehlenbeckia.

Mangan’s printmaking practice is concerned with seemingly insignificant and often overlooked subjects, so part of the appeal of her current series is that the Banks Peninsula region occupied by Muehlenbeckia is classed as ‘grey scrub habitat’ and the flora is aesthetically insignificant.

When viewed from a distance the work is often abstracted, but rewards closer viewing; just like the flora of Aotearoa New Zealand. When we see endemic flora at a distance the surface becomes dematerialised; illusions of texture shift with the viewer’s distance from the subject and the work.

February Exhibition

Andris Apse: Light & Landscape

4-27 February 2022

This month Stoddart Cottage is excited to present an exhibition of works from award winning photographer and new Diamond Harbour resident, Andris Apse. In Light & Landscape Andris presents a selection of his best landscape work from the past thirty years, as well as offering signed copies of a selection of his books. Working professionally for the last four decades, Andris creates powerful panoramic images that graphically portray the many moods of nature, from the wilderness to rural countryside, of New Zealand to international vistas.

Included in this exhibition for the first time will be a number of Andris’ Platinum/Palladium prints, made using a century old printing process that results in archival qualities of incredible longevity that produce rich detailed sepia toned prints of exceptional quality. Andris studied the process in San Francisco, producing a series of prints himself. The images in this exhibition were made by Stuart Clook, a well-known Banks Peninsula expert in alternative printing processes.

Andris Apse is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary landscape photographers. Born in Latvia in 1943, he spent five of his first six years of life in a refugee camp in Germany before emigrating with his mother to New Zealand. Inspired by his first journeys into New Zealand’s natural wilderness with the New Zealand Forest Service, Apse decided to become a landscape photographer at the age of 18. He became a professional photographer in 1969, initially combining landscape photography with other genres, before making this his entire focus by the 1980s. He has had his images featured in prestigious publications, such as the New York Times, and has produced a number of major books, some of which are available for purchase at the exhibition.

The quality of his work has been recognised through numerous accolades, which include the award of Member New Zealand Order of Merit, Honorary Fellowships of The New Zealand and Australian Institutes of Professional Photographers, Olympus International Photographer of the year and winner of the animal behaviour section of the UK Natural History Museum’s International Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

After being based for some years in Ōkārito, Andris has recently built a house in Diamond Harbour and is in the process of relocating his home, studio and gallery here. Andris will be at the gallery over the first weekend of the show for those interested in meeting him and learning more about this impressive body of work.


January Exhibition

Sook Hwang: Stitched  Emotion II

7-30 January 2022

In Stitched Emotion II, textile artist Sook Hwang uses fabric dyeing and freehand machine embroidery to process and narrate human emotions and feelings. She uses her work to express extreme opposites of emotional states; juxtaposing optimism through her regular use of rich colours, with the harsher complexities of feeling suggested by coarse-grained materials, such as raw silk. She uses the stitches of her intricate embroidery to bring these forces together in “a point of magical fusion”.

Korean-born Sook Hwang has worked as a fabric artist for many decades, creating detailed and complex works that can take many months to complete. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Arts from University of Wollongong, and now lives in Cass Bay. Prior to the earthquakes she worked from a studio in the Arts Centre. http://www.sookcollection.co.nz/


December Exhibition

Celebrations at Stoddart Cottage

Stoddart Cottage is set for busy month this December. For the majority of the month it’s hosting the Local Artisans’ Christmas Market, selling handmade goods for festive gifting. It then transitions into 2022 with Margaret at Home, an exhibition highlighting the connections between the respected Canterbury impressionist painter Margaret Stoddart and Diamond Harbour where she spent her childhood.

Between 3rd and 28th December, Stoddart Cottage Gallery is transformed into a Christmas arts and crafts market organised by the Stoddart Cottage Artisans. This 30-strong group of local artists and craftspeople run the cooperative shop at the Cottage. This year, their seasonal market features a wonderful new selection of specially made items that range from ceramics and paintings to handmade soaps and wooden toys, platters to Christmas cards and decorations. It’s a great place to source unique local gifts in a relaxed setting, while supporting local artisans and the running of the historic Stoddart Cottage. The Artisans are holding a Christmas Party Opening on 3rd December between 4-6pm to which all are welcome.

For the five-day New Year’s holiday period from 31st December to 4th, Stoddart Cottage Gallery is celebrating the work of its most famous inhabitant, the painter Margaret Stoddart, who was born there in 1865. This will feature several lesser known original works, as well as photographs, objects and images of some of her most familiar works. The display will reveal the artist and her family in context, both domestic and within the wider Lyttelton Harbour Whakaraupō setting.

November Exhibition

Sue Currie: Observing Colour and Water

5-28 November 2021

Opening event: Friday 5 November, 6-8pm

Sue Currie has spent most of her life close to the water: either in it, on it, or round it. This deep connection is conveyed in the watercolours, acrylics and oils of Observing Colour and Water, inspired by the coastal environments and inland bodies of water that Currie has navigated in her life and work. “I always carry a camera with me to grab those moments which may only last a few seconds, often when I least expect it, to convey colour, shapes and mood into my paintings,” says Currie.

Much of the work in Observing Colour and Water reflects the land and seascapes local to Stoddart Cottage, the birthplace of the painter Margaret Stoddart, where the exhibition is being held. It’s an area with which Currie has strong ties, with a childhood in which weekends and holidays were spent at her family’s holiday home in nearby Charteris Bay, the small Banks Peninsula settlement where she now lives. “Just think, all those years’ ago, Margaret Stoddart was painting local subjects at this cottage,” Currie notes. “I would love to have met her.”

Sue Currie is a Christchurch born artist who lives in Charteris Bay, Banks Peninsula. She has been painting since 1974, with a major focus on landscapes, which she exhibits regularly, mainly in the South Island. After working in Sydney for seven years as a graphic designer, she returned to Christchurch to pursue fine art painting. Her painting has taken her across the world, creating work from sketches and photos taken on trips to France, Italy, Britain, Malaysia, Mexico, China and Hong Kong. However, her main inspiration remains the South Island of New Zealand, which she describes as “an artist’s dream”. Influenced by her surroundings, Currie endeavours to capture moments from these on paper or canvas, always experimenting with different techniques. Choice of many subjects has introduced a wide range of diversity in her work. Currie is the recipient of numerous awards and has paintings in collections in New Zealand and overseas.


October Exhibition

Kintsugi: embracing the scars of healing

1-25 October 2021

Opening event: Saturday 2nd October, 4-6pm

Kintsugi is group show presented by Artists Against Slavery that explores the concept of brokenness, its repair, and how it can become part of a new whole. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of restoring broken ceramic vessels with lacquer and gold, with the resulting object becoming more valuable than before. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. It highlights cracks and repairs as simply an event in life, rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.

Interpretations of Kintsugi are made in the exhibition through ceramics, pottery, painting and printing. Its artists range from established professionals to emerging practitioners, largely from Christchurch and the Banks Peninsula. The artists are: Tania Bostock, Nina Brown, Julia Dower, Bev Frost, Renate Galeztka, Naomi Goto Garrett, Sarah Harper, Aamira Jain, Jane McCulla, Janie Porter, Gaby Reade, Soon-Lee Spicer, Kaylene Worrall.

As an organisation, Artists Against Slavery (AAgS) raises funds to help with the rehabilitation of women and children who have been trafficked and abused. A great deal of shame can hang over a victim, usually for life. Rehabilitation helps victims to see that they are of great value together with their painful history. AAgS will take a commission of 10% but artists can give more if they choose. AAgS gives 100% of money raised to Hagar NZ who work with victims of human trafficking and abuse in Afghanistan, Cambodia and Vietnam.

To contact the artists or for information about AAgS contact Janie Porter, Curator: janieporter.art@gmail.com

September Exhibition

Bays Harbour Quilting Group

3-26 September 2021

The Bays Harbour Quilting Group is made up of like minded quilters. Formed around eight years ago by retirees based around Whakaraupō, its members meet once a month at each other’s homes, “to share ideas and knowledge and generally have a great time with lots of laughter and good food”.

The Spring Quilting Collection embraces a seasonal theme in showcasing fresh new work from group members for sale or display. Quilts and wall hangings make up the majority of works featured, including cot quilts. The exhibition also encompasses general sewing items, which range from fabric covered notebooks, bags, cushions and tea cosies, to soft toys.

August Exhibition

Diamond Harbour Camera Club: Rebuild Refocused

6-29 August 2021

Every year members of Diamond Harbour Camera Club make a field trip into Christchurch, witnessing and recording the fast-changing city landscape year-on-year. Through these annual recovery walks documented in the exhibition, Rebuild Refocused its photographers have discovered hidden alleyways full of colour emerging onto wide, paved and planted social spaces flanked by new, innovative buildings and the few period buildings still standing tall. The exhibition features images of architecture both new and old, vivid street art, colourful lit night scenes, and the plantings of the cityscape.

The Creative Cottage Winter Workshops

For further details and booking go to the Stoddart Cottage website

July Exhibition

Artists’ names: Breana Vosper, Bronte Lovell, Hinnie Hobeyn & Joel Graham

Exhibition name: Zoomers

Exhibition dates: 2-30 July 2021

Opening event: Friday 2nd July, 5-7pm

Gallery Opening Hours: Friday-Sunday 10am-4pm and public holidays

Address: 2 Waipapa Avenue, Diamond Harbour

Artists Against Slavery presents, Zoomers; an exhibition of work by four talented young artists from Generation Z. Breana Vosper, Bronte Lovell, Hinnie Hobeyn and Joel Graham are high school students who all live in Diamond Harbour and attend Cashmere High School. They will be donating 10% of the sale price of their artworks sold to Artists Against Slavery.

Breana Vosper comes from an artistic family and has been painting most of her life, currently using oils, watercolour and acrylic. Her work has undergone a major evolution over the past year, as she refines the way she views her subject matter. She especially enjoys painting scenes of nature and different light forms.

Bronte Lovell is 17 years-old and creates comics, characters and stories with digital art. She also loves painting, which is what she has experimented with in this exhibition.

Hinnie Hobeyn has lived in Diamond Harbour her entire life. She is a self-taught artist, drawing “ever since she was able to pick up a pencil”. Her art spans a variety of mediums, with her favourite style line art/pencil drawings.

Joel Graham focuses on portraits and figures. He often draws on a childhood spent partly in Afghanistan, where his parents worked in aid and development work helping trafficked women and children. He also has experience in animation, which leads to a sense of movement in many of his paintings.

June Exhibition

Artist name: Michael Lidski
Exhibition name: Stone Groove
Exhibition dates: 4-27 June 2021
Opening event: Saturday 5 June, 2-4pm

A passion for rocks has culminated in Stone Groove, an exhibition of works of polished stone by Ukrainian-born and now Christchurch-based artist, Michael Lidski. Exploring the magnificent and varied nature of the South Island, Michael became fascinated with Birdlings Flat Beach, a place of wild beauty and power, where he began collecting gemstones. Believing that beauty should be functional, he started cutting, grinding and polishing these gems, which along with stones and petrified wood from other South Island locations, have been crafted into the pendants, bowls and sculptures, and inlaid into ornate tables of this exhibition.

Michael Lidski was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and spent time living in Israel before relocating to Christchurch in 2004. As a press photographer in Israel, hundreds of his images were published in newspapers, magazines and books. In New Zealand he started making artworks based on photography, which have been exhibited in Christchurch art galleries and sold to private collectors. Over the last decade he has honed his stone polishing skills, with the spare time afforded by the lockdown providing the impetus to expand his work further to the kind of complex works showcased in Stone Groove.

Well-known Canterbury lapidary expert, Malcolm Luxton, the author of the book “Agates of New Zealand”, will be joining Michael to speak at the exhibition’s opening event on 5 June, to which all are welcome.

April Exhibition – Canvas & Clay

Ruth Willis and John Barry
2 April – 2 May 2021

Almost a century of creative experience converges on canvas and in clay in this joint exhibition by mature Diamond Harbour artists, Ruth Willis and John Barry. Ruth is a well-known potter in the community with a four-decade practice, while John has half a century behind him as a respected painter. The exhibition also incorporates a number of events at the Stoddart Cottage Gallery over the month. Ruth will be leading hands-on pottery demonstrations. John will be presenting a special Anzac Day talk around four of his paintings depicting heroic Kiwi airmen, before these move to permanent display at the Air Force Museum of NZ.

Ruth Willis found her passion for pottery in the 1980s, as a foundation member of a Methven pottery club. Describing herself has a “rustic” potter, she initially made domestic ware on the wheel, shared with family and friends. By 1988 Ruth had bought her own kiln, and through attending many workshops over the years, now produces a variety of shapes and forms. “The pleasure I have of working with the clay is the satisfaction of creating a unique piece of work in an age of mass production,” says Ruth. In this exhibition she will be showing both favourite pieces from her personal collection, as well as recent works for sale.

John Barry is a largely self-taught painter working across multiple media: watercolours, oils, acrylics, pastels, and charcoal. His preference is for pastel painting, which has seen him become an award-winning member of Pastel Artists of NZ. John engages with a variety of subjects; from figure studies and portraits, local and NZ landscapes, to aviation themes, the latter resulting from spending over 30 years in the RNZAF. His paintings have been used to illustrate books and magazine articles, and some donated to the Air Force Museum of NZ.


Ruth Willis: Weekends on the Wheel – Pottery Demonstration
Every Saturday following the opening weekend: 10th, 17th, 24th April & 1st May – between 2-4pm.

Ruth will be demonstrating how to make pots on the potter’s wheel at a series of drop-in Saturday sessions. This is an opportunity to both see the artisan at work, and try your hand at making something under Ruth’s guidance. Free. No booking required.

John Barry: Four Brave Men – Anzac Day Talk

25th April (ANZAC Day) 2pm sharp.

John will be presenting Four Brave Men, four of his paintings devoted to kiwi airmen awarded the Victoria Cross. Following this exhibition, these works will become part of the Air Force Museum of NZ’s collection. Free. No booking required.

Diamond Harbour ceramic artist Jan Valentine Priestley has been working in clay and fibre for many decades both on Banks Peninsula and in Idyllwild, Southern California. In this exhibition she has assembled a varied collection of her photo–imaged ceramic pieces.

March Exhibition – Harbour Drifting

Ceramic art by Jan Priestley
5 – 28 February 2021

Diamond Harbour ceramic artist Jan Valentine Priestley has been working in clay and fibre for many decades both on Banks Peninsula and in Idyllwild, Southern California. In this exhibition she has assembled a varied collection of her photo–imaged ceramic pieces.

Included are Portuguese fishing boats with lettering and sea creature images; open–footed bowls printed with cephalapoda drawings from the university library in Pavia, Italy; buoy floats and lifebuoy rings hung from old oars also with varied calligraphy, maps, and sea creatures. All these original works tell stories with sepia–coloured images printed on paper clay mixes, which are fired, then waxed or sealed so they can be hung outside or inside.

Expressions of Nature

Janie Porter and Jane McCulla
5 – 28 February 2021

An exhibition of artworks by Galina Kim, Alecksandra Basiuk, Yulia Krauze and Natasha Hawkins, artists born or connected with countries of the former Soviet Union. Now based in Diamond Harbour and Christchurch, the artists present work in this exhibition inspired by the natural world of thier adopted New Zealand home. These reflections of nature are explored through acrylics mixed media watercolours and installations.

Opening event 2-4pm Saturday 6 February. All welcome.
Stoddart Cottage Gallery will be open on the public holiday on Monday 8 February as well as the usual Friday, Saturday and Sunday each weekend.


Pete’s Path and Beyond

Janie Porter and Jane McCulla

In Pete’s Path and Beyond, the paintings of Janie Porter and ceramics of Jane McCulla are inspired by Te Waipapa/Diamond Harbour and the work of local conservationists. Shortly after moving to Diamond Harbour two years ago, Janie Porter discovered Pete’s Path, the school track created by Pete Ozich and volunteers to provide a safe shortcut to school for local children. The efforts of this group have helped regenerate native bush in and around Te Waipapa and the track, which leads through gullies of native plantings and alongside paddocks of sheep. The exhibition celebrates their tireless work and offers a view beyond to the beauty of this extraordinary place.

Jane McCulla is a Diamond Harbour-based artist making ceramics inspired by the landscape around her. Taking patterns from both micro and macro imagery of the landscape, such as footprints or satellite images, she translates these onto her ceramic surfaces. The clay is stretched, capturing fluid motion and then fired to stoneware temperatures. McCulla gained a First Class Honours in Fine & Applied Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland before immigrating to New Zealand in 2009.

Artisans’ Festive Fair


This month Diamond Harbour residents will be offered the opportunity to indulge in some unique Christmas shopping on their doorstep, while supporting local artisans. Stoddart Cottage is hosting its annual Artisans’ Festive Fair, which features arts and crafts from Christmas decorations to a wide range of handmade gifts.

“Diamond Harbour and its environs is home to some incredibly talented artisans,” says Stoddart Cottage Gallery Manager, Dr Jo Burzynska. “The members of the Stoddart Cottage Artisans have their products available throughout the year in the cottage shop, but are showcasing some of their finest work made specially for the Festive Fair on a Christmas theme or suitable for gifting.”

You can expect products from handmade soaps to wooden toys and platters, advent calendars to ceramics, paintings, cards and much more. All of the purchases support the local Artisans and the running of the historic Stoddart Cottage Gallery.

Covid has increasingly seen people make a conscious choice to “buy NZ made”, in order to reconnect with their local communities and put their money back into local enterprises rather than spending it with overseas businesses. Jo is hopeful that this movement will make the Festive Fair Stoddart Cottage’s most successful yet.

“There’s something very special about giving a gift that’s been handmade and locally sourced,” she says. “A number of products for sale involve the creative re-purposing of existing objects, which along with minimal transport costs, makes for more sustainable Christmas gift choices.

Stoddart Cottage is also guaranteed to be far more relaxing space to shop, in contrast to braving the malls this season!”

The Stoddart Cottage Artisans’ Fair runs from December 4 to January 4 from 10am to 4pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday, as well as all public holidays apart from Christmas Day. The Artisans are also inviting everyone to join them for their Christmas Party Opening Event on December 4 at 5pm.

Image: An art quilt on sale at the Fair, made by local artisan, Anne Skelton.

Curious Natures at Stoddart Cottage

Julie Reason and Ekaterina Vernon

During November Stoddart Cottage is hosting Curious Natures, a joint exhibition of prints of collages by Julie Reason and paintings by Ekaterina Vernon. The exhibition opens on Friday November 6, with a special opening event on Saturday November 7 between 2 and 4pm when you can meet the artists.

Julie Reason

Working from her tiny cabin in Diamond Harbour, Julie Reason creates unsettling, dreamlike surreal collages using found images, scissors, and glue.

The tactile, spontaneous nature of her creative process allows each picture to emerge in intuitive and wholly unpredictable ways, resulting in striking images that defy waking logic and whisper to the unconscious mind. Photo prints in different sizes are created from each original, ensuring maximum clarity and depth of colour.

Ekaterina Vernon

Ekaterina Vernon is a Moscow-born and now Christchurch-based photographer and artist. Inspired by her upbringing in Russia surrounded by historic buildings and stunning nature, as well as visits with her father to museums and private art collections, she started painting as a hobby from an early age.

Now a trained photographer living in New Zealand from 2015, she works as a wedding and family photographer, while creating art that seeks to capture the beauty of New Zealand nature using oil and pastels.

Vibrancy and Peace

Ursula McCulloch and Kevin Mackay
2 October – 1 November

Ursula McCulloch is an artist and clinical psychologist who paints landscape because she enjoys the vibrancy and peace nature offers. She works mainly with acrylic on canvas. “Acrylics capture the energy and immediacy of the landscapes I choose to paint”, says Ursula. This exhibition features iconic and lesser-known scenes from around New Zealand, where she came to settle from South Africa nearly 25 years ago.

Ursula’s paintings are accompanied by a display of wooden toys and other objects handcrafted by Kevin Mackay, who began making things with wood after he retired to Charteris Bay. Using mostly recycled rimu, as well as quilla and pine, each object is finished with an appropriate coating, either Danish oil, varnish, bees wax polish or brightly coloured paint. “I gain great satisfaction when someone buys one of my products and appreciates the work that goes into it”, he says.


Art from Senior Students at Te Kura o Te Waipapa Diamond Harbour School
8 – 30 August 2020

Different media and a range of subjects are explored by the young artists in our community in this exhibition which runs for four weeks until the end of August. Many are influenced by learning about Expressionism and the paintings of Canterbury artist Margaret Stoddart (1865-1935) who was born at Stoddart Cottage and who also grew up in Diamond Harbour, surrounded by harbour and hills.

(Note: The Stoddart Cottage will remain closed on Fridays until September)


Free Expressions from the Diamond Harbour Painting Group
4 – 26 July 2020

Works by ten artists covering a wide range of subjects are included in this group exhibition. Media include acrylic and oil paint and pastel. Most works are for sale.

The Diamond Harbour Painting Group meets weekly. Members work together to develop technique, learn from one another and support each others creative endeavours. There are about ten regulars, with others who come and go with the seasons.

Linen Cottage

Elena Chromic
7 February – 1 March

Locally handcrafted clothing, jewellrey and household neccessities by Lithuanian-born Elena Chromic.

All welcome at the opening event on Friday 7 Februrary at 6pm at Stoddart Cottage Gallery.

For more on Stoddart Cottage, birthplace of Margaret Stoddart, see Stoddart Cottage website

Colourful Corners, Harbour and Peninsula

Watercolours by Don McAra
New Years Day – 2 February 2020

Paintings of Banks Peninsula places by Don McAra will be on show at Stoddart Cottage Gallery, Diamond Harbour, throughout January.

The exhibition includes a series of richly-coloured representational paintings of familiar Banks Peninsula scenes. The highlight is a vibrant image perfectly capturing the atmosphere at the busy Diamond Harbour wharf on a hot summer day.

As a boy McAra enjoyed Saturday classes at Dunedin’s Technical School of Art, and watercolour classes with H V Miller (1907-1986). He obtained degrees (English and languages) at Otago and Canterbury Universities, and trained as a high school teacher in Canterbury, and later Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Drama in Education). He studied life painting with Doris Lusk (1916-1990), and with the Cranmer Group in Christchurch.

After a career in education, teaching at Linwood High School and the Canterbury College of Education Don McAra resigned in 1987, at the age of 50, to paint full time. His achievements include numerous exhibitions and a number of art prizes and awards. His work is to be found in many private collections in New Zealand and overseas.

An opening event where visitors can meet the artist will be held at Stoddart Cottage Gallery on Saturday 4 January at 2pm-4pm. All Welcome.

For more on the artist see https://www.donmcara.net/ .

For more on Stoddart Cottage, birthplace of Margaret Stoddart, see Stoddart Cottage website

Private Collection

Exhibition and Auction
Tuesday 26 November – Sunday 1 December 2019

Extra Opening Hours:
Tuesday 26 November 6pm – 8pm
Wednesday 27 November 10am – 4pm
Thursday 28 November 6pm – 8pm
Friday 29 November 10am – 7pm
Saturday 30 November 10am – 4pm
Sunday 1 December 10am – 4pm followed by Live Auction at 5pm

A 1957 Hamish Keith oil painting and several accomplished 19th Century watercolours are among a private collection of works that will be exhibited and auctioned in the last week of November at historic Stoddart Cottage in Diamond Harbour. The collection also includes contemporary works by Gary Tricker and Garrick Tremain, among others.

The private collection was very generously donated to the Stoddart Cottage Trust by a Church Bay family. It is understood all seven of the 19th century watercolours were brought from Scotland by the donor’s forebears who settled in Southland about 1879.

This is a special fundraising event to raise money for Stoddart Cottage Trust’s collection and heritage activities. Proceeds will be used by the Trust for maintaining and adding to its own collection of artefacts associated with Stoddart Cottage and the Stoddart family who lived in the cottage in the 1860s and 1870s. The Trust hopes to be able to acquire one or two original Margaret Stoddart paintings for public display at the cottage.

All 23 works in the collection will be on display in the main gallery at Stoddart Cottage from Tuesday 26 November. The cottage will be open every day during the week leading up to a live auction. Visitors can place written bids on works they like, culminating the live auction which will take place on Sunday 1 December starting at 5pm.

The catalogue is available on the Stoddart Cottage website or
PC Illustrated Catalogue and PC Catalogue with Provences
A hard copy can be viewed at the cottage


2 August – 1 September 2019

Daniela Kellner, Sarah Harper, Vincent Raj, Vicki Dixon, Michele Kiely, and Hilary Freeth are the six Wednesday Night Pottery Group artists whose work features in this month’s group show at Stoddart Cottage Gallery.

The exhibition will feature an eclectic mix of hand built ceramics, produced in the experimental atmosphere of the Wednesday Night Pottery Group, a weekly class held at the Ngatea Road studio of Diamond Harbour ceramic artist Jane McCulla.


Steve Howard and Alice Lewis

31 May – 30 June 2019

An exhibition of photographs by Steve Howard

Steve Howard is a Diamond Harbour-based photographer. This exhibition showcases his recent work and takes the viewer on a journey from the mountains to the sea, and includes some time lapse photography captured from various locations in the region.

Also on display will be some city and street related work, a relatively new genre for the artist.

Some images touch on unusual and abstract variations of photography in black and white and colour.

Recently several Steve Howard images have been selected for wider publication by Getty Images. His photographic creativity can also be viewed at www.weblens.net and www.weavinglight.net

Hand crafted possum rugs by Alice Lewis

Alice Lewis trapped 530 possums on her 25 hectare bush block in Pigeon Bay. Selected pelts have been made into soft, elegant rugs, edged with deer-leather and backed with fabric. Alice Lewis is now a resident of Diamond Harbour.

Stitched Emotion

Exhibition for February 2019

Sook Hwang is a textile artist who uses a free style of machine embroidery to express emotions. “Love and anger are examples of human emotion that, I believe, should be freely expressed. I send this message through the art I create”, she says.

Coming from a family of artists, Sook Hwang knew from an early age that textiles were her preferred medium. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Arts from University of Wollongong and now lives in Cass Bay. Prior to the earthquakes Sook Hwang worked from a studio in the Arts Centre. Examples of her earlier textile art can be seen at www.sookcollection.co.nz.

Recent work by Sook Hwang will be on show at Stoddart Cottage Gallery throughout February, opening on Friday 1 February and closing on Sunday the 24th.

Open on Waitangi Day.

You, Me and the Sea – Natasha Hawkins

Exhibition for January 2019

New works by Natasha Hawkins will be showing throughout January at Stoddart Cottage Gallery in Diamond Harbour.

The exhibition, called You, Me and the Sea, features water colour and acrylic paintings of places around Lyttelton Harbour Whakaraupo. The paintings testify to the artist’s affection for the landscapes and seascapes of her adopted home.

Originally from Russia, Natasha Hawkins moved to New Zealand in 2005. She began her art education in Russia and has continued to study and practice art since arriving in New Zealand, working with water colours and acrylic as well as other materials and fabric.

Her work has been exhibited in other galleries, sometimes in group shows, or in collaboration with local artists and other Russian artists who now call New Zealand home.

In a recent collaboration Natasha Hawkins worked on frescoes and murals at the Serbian Orthodox Church in Brisbane, Australia.

Stoddart Cottage Gallery is housed in the oldest colonial dwelling in Diamond Harbour and was the birthplace of Margaret Stoddart, a well-known Canterbury botanical and impressionist painter.

Opening Hours: 10am – 4pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and most public holidays.

Award for Stoddart Cottage

Recently, Stoddart Cottage Trust was presented with an award by Christchurch Civic Trust chairman Prof Chris Kissling who congratulated the Trust for its stewardship of Stoddart Cottage.

Stoddart Cottage Trust chair Paula Smith thanked him for recognising the Trust’s efforts and took the opportunity to highlight recent activities at the cottage, saying the Trust aims to build on the link between fine arts and heritage at Stoddart Cottage.

The Civic Trust’s Category D award is given for “special events or programmes that serve to raise the community’s awareness and appreciation of its heritage assets”. Assessment is based on the level of innovation, initiative and enterprise involved in planning and executing the project, and the degree of subsequent public involvement and participation.

The certificate now hangs in Stoddart Cottage.

Most Herald readers will know Stoddart Cottage is the oldest dwelling in Diamond Harbour and was the birthplace of well-known Canterbury artist Margaret Stoddart. Since it re-opened last year following earthquake repairs the Cottage has been open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on public holidays.

Exhibitions by local artists change monthly, and locally handmade crafts are for sale though a partnership between a craft co-operative and the Trust.

Visitors can explore the house where there is a small museum display of heritage items to look at and also enjoy the colourful sheltered garden. Stoddart Cottage Trust has produced two interpretive booklets for visitors, one with the story of the building and the other about the life and work of Margaret Stoddart. Visitor numbers are growing steadily.

Most of the work to keep activities at the Cottage going is done by volunteers. Anyone interested in being involved in activities at Stoddart Cottage should contact Paula on 329 4445.


Exhibition for August 2018

An exhibition of works by senior students from Diamond Harbour School, influenced by the life and art of impressionist painter Margaret Stoddart.

Back in May, students visited Stoddart Cottage, birthplace of New Zealand’s well known impressionist painter Margaret Stoddart. They learned about her life and times, the Stoddart family and about impressionism.

Their mission was to create an artwork which responded to what they saw on their visit, or to use their imagination to create art which was influenced in some way by Margaret Stoddart who spent her early childhood here among landscapes which later inspired some of her best known paintings.

Their work (which will be for sale) will be showing throughout August at Stoddart Cottage Gallery – Open 10am to 4pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and public holidays.

Rowena Macgill

Featured Artist for August 2018

Rowena started out with weaving to explore the various ways of using her Gotland wool and fibre from four alpacas – but although she found it satisfying, it was also very technical and there was a lot of calculation involved so she soon found herself moving more towards felting

She says, “Felting is more like painting a picture…you move the colours around until you like the result.”

One of Rowena’s specialities is felted sheepskins which can be sofa throws, bed covers or pet cushions. She has also made two double bed mattress covers on commission which were enormous to start with due to the felt shrinking as it is made.

At the Cottage, Rowena has a wide range of felted goodies for sale; including brooches, slippers, scarves, hats, hot water bottle covers (brilliant for retaining heat overnight) felted soaps (a soap covered in its own felted flannel!) and her own creation of candle lanterns.
We also stock Rowena’s beautiful carded wool for spinning or needle felting and her hand dyed yarn in a rainbow of vibrant colours for potential knitting projects – especially good at this time of year.

Home from Home: Jane McCulla Ceramics

Exhibition for March 2018

Stoddart Cottage Gallery is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 10am to 4pm (or by arrangement, phone 027 632 9709 or 03 3294 445). The gallery will be open every day over Easter.

Northern Ireland-born ceramic artist Jane McCulla came to New Zealand ten years ago and now lives and works in Diamond Harbour. She graduated with first class honours in Fine and Applied Arts from the University of Ulster in 2006 and her work is now held in public and private collections around the world. Many of her hand-built ceramic pieces are explorations of human marks on the landscape and human vulnerability to the whims of nature. Patterns are inspired by ancient petroglyphs, geology and aerial photography of Earth.

The opening event for this exhibition is Saturday 3 March at 1pm. All welcome. Last day is Monday 2 April 2018.

Cynthia Muir from Takamatua

Exhibition for February 2018

Stoddart Cottage Gallery is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and most Public Holidays from 10am to 4pm
(or by arrangement, phone 03 3294 445 or 027 2413772).

Sea birds in flight are a favourite subject for artist Cynthia Muir, but all her paintings feature an animal of some kind.

Muir grew up in Hawaii and came to New Zealand in 2006 settling in Akaroa with her husband Tony. Together they now operate a successful marine wildlife

tour venture. Cynthia’s first painting was of her much-loved terrier Cara, and from there she progressed to

paint other birds and animals around her. “When I was driving the boat, I had the chance to see some really beautiful birds. These are the inspiration for some of the paintings in this exhibition”.

Most of the works in this exhibition are oil on canvas. Hand made prints are also available.

Last day for Cynthia Muir’s exhibition is Sunday 25 February.

Ewing and Brocklebank: Two Ways of Seeing

Natural History and Landscape Art from Banks Peninsula and Beyond – 5 to 28 January 2018

Stoddart Cottage Gallery is open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and most Public Holidays from 10am to 4pm
(or by arrangement, phone 03 3294 445 or 027 2413772).


Jo Ewing is well-known as one of New Zealand’s best botanical artists. Recently she expanded into natural history painting to record the vital relationships between native plants and insects.

Growing up near Lake Taupo, Jo Ewing developed an early appreciation and knowledge of native flora and fauna. After four years studying graphic and industrial design at the Design School in Wellington she worked as a landscape designer. During a trip to England in 1987 she completed a short course learning the art of botanical illustration. For the next 30 years she worked as a botanical painter, usually in watercolour.

Working with a botanist and an entomologist, Jo now seeks to encourage people to really look at and value the sometimes tiny and overlooked treasures of our endemic flora and fauna.

“My aim as an artist is to serve both science and art; to ensure scientific accuracy, while also capturing the “spirit” of the subject on the page. I wish to show and share with the viewer the endless, ephemeral beauty and minutiae of the natural world, hopefully helping to foster a greater understanding and appreciation.”

All works exhibited are for sale including some of Jo Ewing’s original watercolours.


After graduating with a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Ilam School of Fine Arts, Paul Brocklebank travelled to England and worked as a scenery painter for some of the great London theatre art studios including Covent Garden Opera House. He also worked as a scenic artist at the BBC 2 television studio in Glasgow.

In 1967 he was appointed Senior Artist for the Australian Broadcasting Commission TV, where he worked for over 30 years painting sets and scenery for every major ABC TV production. The work varied from painting huge backcloths with rollers to picking out detail with a fine sable brush on tiny miniatures, and also included carving and sculpture as required.

Paul Brocklebank has always enjoyed painting outdoors. He came regularly to Lyttelton Harbour for holidays where he painted local scenes first with watercolour and later with pastel, oil and acrylic. Original works and prints are on display and all are for sale at very reasonable prices.


December Exhibition: The Best of Local Craft and Art

This month at Stoddart Cottage Gallery the craft co-operative has spilled out of the back room and our main gallery is filled with art and craft. Local crafters and artists have some of their best work on display.
Some works are too highly valued by their creators to be sold, but many things are for sale, including lots of Christmassy decorative objects.
If you are looking for a unique gift with a local connection visit Stoddart Cottage any Friday, Saturday or Sunday or any public holiday (except Christmas Day itself) between 10am and 4pm and have a look around.



Margaret Stoddart’s Work at Canterbury Museum

Margaret StoddartCanterbury Museum cares for a large collection of botanical studies and landscapes by renowned local artist, Margaret Olrog Stoddart. The daughter of an early Canterbury settler, Margaret was born in 1865 in Stoddart Cottage, Diamond Harbour and later lived in Godley House.
View Margaret Stoddart’s Work on the Canterbury Museum website.



Mirror Mirror starts today at Stoddart Cottage Gallery!

Local artist Frances graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Canterbury in 2005, majoring in painting. Her work is informed by poster artists such as Toulouse Lautrec and Arts and Craft artists such as William Morris. It encompasses decorative art and design elements. This exhibition of mainly portraits showcases Frances’s exploration into the idea of self and how we are seen by others.

Check out Frances’s richly coloured portraits and look around the oldest house in Diamond Harbour, the birthplace of Margaret Stoddart.

Free entry.





Stoddart Cottage is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm.