About Stoddart Cottage

The 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


Diamond Harbour Camera Club

6-29 October 2023

From Godley Head to Little Port Cooper, stories abound of communities, pioneers and inventions that have shaped the historic harbour of Whakaraupō Lyttelton. For this exhibition, members of Diamond Harbour Camera Club have spent the last year rediscovering views from past photographers of places of historic interest within the harbour and its surrounds, seeking out locations, and where possible matching previous viewpoints. Their contemporary photographs are displayed alongside prints of the historic originals sourced from the collections including Te Ūaka The Lyttelton Museum, Canterbury Museum, local historians, residents and the Diamond Harbour Historical Association.

This exhibition is part of the Christchurch Heritage Festival.

Opening Event in conjuction with Stoddart Cottage Trust AGM:
Friday 6 October 5pm – all welcome


Rose Marie Salmon – Nathan Taare

1 September – 1 October 2023

Opening Event: Saturday 2 September 4-6pm – all welcome
Meet Louise Menzies
Stoddart Cottage-Purau’s Artist-in-Resident
Welcome Event: 1 September 5.30pm – Artist Walk: 23 September 2.30pm

Scent and ceramics combine in the immersive mixed media exhibition, Terrasol at Stoddart Cottage in September. Exploring the connection between earth, rain, and human emotions, Ōhinehou Lyttelton ceramic artist Rose Marie Salmon has created clay amulets that are infused with the Petrichord scent made by multimedia artist, Nathan Taare (Ngāti Porou) from Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. Petrichord – which is also available as a limited edition Eau de Parfum at the exhibition – was inspired the smell of petrichor. Evoked by the aroma molecule, terrasol, petrichor is the earthy scent released when rain falls on dry earth, whose allure might lie in our reliance on rainfall for survival.

The work in this exhibition builds on Salmon and Taare’s earlier cross-sensory collaboration in Antireality Perversion Void at City Gallery Wellington.


4 – 27 August 2023

Opening Event: Saturday 5 August 2-4pm – all welcome 

In Ephemeral, artists Olga Parr and Veronika Ek present states of transience, both human and in the natural world. Ek uses photography to draw attention to the nature, light and tranquility of the Banks Peninsula, while Parr, captures moments of passing emotion and natural beauty in pastel, watercolour, charcoal and ink. Both artists are also united in their embrace of aspects of minimalism: Ek in landscapes themselves and Parr in her regular use of empty space.

Veronica Ek is a mixed media artist whose practice spans painting and photography. She moved to New Zealand from Norway six years ago, and was immediately inspired by the Banks Peninsula landscapes that feature in this exhibition. While recent years have seen her focus on her paintings, in Ephemeral she presents the stunning photographs that inspired them. Through these images of nature she seeks to convey a sense of calm and tranquility.

Born in St Petersburg, and living in multiple countries before settling in New Zealand, Olga Parr exchanged her initial career in astronomy for creative work that spans photography, teaching, illustration and graphic design, and her own arts practice. Working predominantly with pastel and watercolour, Parr is interested in celebrating the beauty of ephemeral moments. Parr is the recipient of numerous arts awards, and has her artwork in private collections in Russia, Europe, Japan, USA, Australia and New Zealand.


7 – 30 July 2023

Opening Event: Saturday 8 July 3-5pm – all welcome

In Rock // Goddess, the artists Maria Lee and Gemma Syme question perceptions of feminine identity through the media of stone and print. Lee evokes the strength of female softness through her juxtaposition of the sensual feminine forms she sculpts, with the rigidity of the rock she carves. Through her series of prints of famous women – from Mary Magdalene to the drag star, Divine – Syme portrays feminine energy as a rich and vast spectrum of characters that challenge the way women have been narrowly defined.

Port Levy-based, Maria Lee has a bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and Design and has been a practicing artist for over 30 years. Lee’s work balances contemporary and traditional sculpting processes to create feminine sculptures which suggest intimacy, whilst remaining minimalist and preserving the nature of the found rock. Interested in touch and consent, she has been exploring female sensual forms and positive expressions of sexuality. She creates work that appears soft and invites touch, while requiring strength and violence to shape its hard materials.

Gemma Syme is a multidisciplinary artist based in Ōtautahi, whose work in video, performance, sound, digital technology and printmaking has been shown at galleries nationwide, as well as in Berlin, San Francisco and Japan. This collection of prints of blind point drawings were prompted by the “hairy” iconographies of Mary Magdalene, a woman “incessantly conflated, contorted and contradicted”. This led to contemplation on how iconic women are burdened with the responsibility of defining womanhood while being defined by others, and the resulting tensions that occur both publicly and privately.


Stoddart Cottage Gallery is currently welcoming proposals from artists – individuals and groups – for its 2024 exhibition programme. As a community gallery, it is particularly interested in supporting the work of local artists and artisans working in the Harbour Basin. It also encourages submissions of high-quality work across all mediums from emerging and established practitioners from further afield, especially art that actively engages in an original way with themes that resonate with the building’s heritage. These include contemporary engagements with nature, ecology, and the local environment; women’s arts practice and risk taking art. Further details and how to submit an application can be found here.



June Sound Festival at Stoddart Cottage

2 June – 2 July

Throughout June, Stoddart Cottage resounds with its first ever sound-themed festival, Whakarongo Whakaraupō, which encourages listening in and from its Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour location. This free festival revolves around a month-long group sonic art exhibition featuring work by Jake Kīanō Skinner, Motoko Kikkawa, Eves, Nicolas Woollaston, Helen Greenfield and Blair Parkes. A series of events is also part of the festival programme, which includes live music and spoken word performances by local artists, and a Margaret Stoddart-inspired sound walk.

“Whakarongo Whakaraupō uses sound to explore connections between place and people, as well as different forms of creative expression,” explains Whakarongo Whakaraupō curator and Stoddart Cottage Gallery Manager, Dr Jo Burzynska. “I’m incredibly excited to present this sonically-focused festival, which is a first for Stoddart Cottage, and likely the only of its kind in Whakaraupō. Designed to appeal to a wide audience, even if you’ve never considered sound as art, or can’t imagine sound translated into paintings, I encourage people to come along and hear for themselves.”

The Exhibition

In Whakarongo Whakaraupō skilled Ōtautahi-based taonga pūoro player and musician, Jake Kīanō Skinner (Ngāti Rangitihi) presents an immersive sound installation. Using traditional Māori instruments and drawing inspiration from his Ngāti Rangitihi whakapapa, his multi-speaker work invites us to connect with the essence of Māori culture and the natural world.

Japanese-born and Ōtepoti Dunedin-resident painter and musician, Motoko Kikkawa has transformed the vibrations of her improvised music practice into a series of watercolours employing a similarly improvisational method. Seeking a harmony that overcomes the temporal limitations of music and spatial constraints of painting, this project includes work that responds to the music of Naarm Melbourne-based Eves, whose sound works accompany Kikkawa’s visual work.

Beneath seemingly simple patterns of electronic sounds, deeper connections and detail emerge in Nicolas Woollaston’s interactive sound sculpture. In this hanging work created from electronic circuits, the Ōtautahi multidisciplinary artist uses transistors to create rhythms and patterns that evoke the waves of Whakaraupō and the multigenerational memories held in the harbour.

Connecting with local history, in The Women of Lyttelton Gaol, Ōhinehou Lyttelton sound artist, Helen Greenfield, assisted by Ōtautahi musician, Blair Parkes, presents an audio work reflecting the flux of women incarcerated in Lyttelton Gaol. Originally made in 2018 in response to stories unearthed for an exhibition on the subject by Te Uaka Lyttelton, it collages spoken details of the name, age, occupation, nationality and sentence of each inmate.

The Events

Listening to Landscapes (Sound Walk): Saturday 3 June, 2.30-3.30pm

Cross-media artist and Stoddart Cottage Gallery curator, Dr Jo Burzynska guides a walk in Waipapa Diamond Harbour to spots where the Impressionist painter, Margaret Stoddart created her works. However, this is a sound walk that encourages participants to approach these locations differently, by ear rather than eye. No booking required. Meet at Diamond Harbour jetty shelter for a prompt departure following the arrival of the Lyttelton ferry at 2.30pm. The walk finishes at Stoddart Cottage.

Voices of Whakaraupō (Poetry/Spoken Word): Sunday 18 June, 4-5.30pm

Established and new voices from around Whakaraupō unite in this afternoon of poetry, spoken word, and art. These include poet, writer and Te Awhi Rito New Zealand Reading Ambassador, Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa), poet and playwright Pohlen Newbery (Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Manunui), dancer and poet, Jacqueline Coia and synesthetic combinations of spoken word and visual art by Scarlett-Rose Adamson. Places are limited so booking advised at: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/voices-of-whakaraupo-live-poetryspoken-word-tickets-634959550107

Improvisations on Margaret (Live music/sound performances): Saturday 1 July, 5.30-7pm

What might a Margaret Stoddart painting sound like? Be prepared to have your eyes and ears opened as musicians improvise live music in response to specific paintings. In this unique event at the historic birthplace of the respected Impressionist painter, some of Whakaraupō’s most respected improvising musicians and exhibiting artists will use Stoddart’s paintings as their score. The performers include Anita Clark (Motte), Bruce Russell (Dead C), Luke Wood (The Opawa 45s), Peter Wright & Helen Greenfield (Teen Haters), Malcolm Riddoch, Nicolas Woolaston and Gemma Syme (Instant Fantasy). Whakarongo Whakaraupō exhibiting artist, Motoko Kikkawa will also be improvising with some of these musicians to her own paintings. Places are limited so booking advised through: https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/improvisations-on-margaret-live-soundmusic-tickets-635005226727

Links to booking all events can be found at: https://www.stoddartcottage.nz/whakarongowhakaraupo

Whakarongo Whakaraupō is funded by Creative Communities.

Opening Event: Saturday 3 June, 4-6pm (all welcome)


May Exhibition and Artist-in-Residence

Carried Home

5-28 May 2023

In May, Stoddart Cottage presents the exhibition of Diamond Harbour artist, A. E. Gibson, and welcomes its first 2023 artist-in-residence, Delaney Davidson, who joins us for the months of May from Lyttelton.

In Carried Home (Narratives of Place), A. E. Gibson explores the narrative of family history and how nostalgia can play into how we reconnect. “Nostalgia can be a coping mechanism, rather than focus on what may have led our ancestors to leave,” says Gibson. “We use obvious notions of culture as a way to identify.” In her exhibition, she her Scottish heritage through nostalgic patterns and the concept of place.

A.E. Gibson is an artist living on Horomaka/Banks Peninsula. Gibson’s work is abstract in nature and focused on the land, using historical research as a starting point. Gibson works in watercolour and acrylic, featuring detailed patterns. This current series sees Gibson using metallics.

Following the success of the first year of its artist-in-residence programme in 2022, the Stoddart Cottage-Purau residency is hosting two residents in 2023: Delaney Davidson this month, and Louise Menzies in September. The residency is run by Stoddart Cottage Gallery in partnership with the artist-owner of Karearea Cottage in Purau where the artists will be based. This year the residency programme is generously supported by Christchurch City Council and is part of Toi Ōtautahi’s Year of the Arts.

While better known for his award winning music, Lyttelton Ōhinehou artist Delaney Davidson has a background in visual arts. Working in oils, printmaking and design, he has exhibited his work in solo shows in Melbourne, Switzerland and New Zealand. As an artist-in-residence at Massey University last year, Delaney presented two exhibitions and a nationwide campaign in collaboration with Tame Iti. He also reconnected with his love of landscape painting, which he plans to explore further over his Stoddart Cottage-Purau residency.

Delaney will be sharing some of the work he produces at a free event at Stoddart Cottage on Sunday 28 May at 2pm. Further details and how to book can be found at: https://www.stoddartcottage.nz/events

Opening Event: Saturday 6 May, 3-5pm (all welcome)

April Exhibition


8-30 April 2023

Substratum references the foundations on which everything is formed and depends; both the physical Earth itself, and ways of thinking about and seeing the world. In Stoddart Cottage’s April exhibition, Moana Lee and Giselle Weir focus on weeds and insects, historically undervalued and sometimes reviled members of our ecosystems. Lee’s anthotypes made from plant extracts, and Weir’s work using watercolour, gouache and embroidery, expose the layers of interconnectivity that can exist in unexpected places.

Giselle Weir

Insects are all around us in our day to day lives sharing the Earth with us, their lives existing parallel to ours. Often regarded negatively despite being vital members of ecosystems and crucial to our existence, to bring them to the forefront of works in a gallery space aims to encourage viewers to consider them in new ways; to contemplate life through the lens of a non-human experience, and give thought to the delicately interconnected web of lives that form the whole.

Most insects will undergo multiple physical transformations. In Weir’s work they represent growth and the inevitability of change, relating to the many different versions of ourselves we also transform into throughout our lives. Their generally short lifespans are also a reminder of the passing of time and the fleeting, transient nature of life. To consider this prompts thoughts about the value of each moment, the value of each life, survival and the act of living, and whether we are giving enough thought to the other forms of life that we share our space with.

Giselle Weir is an artist living and working in Ōtautahi. Her work tends to feature the environment and living things, with a keen interest in the way things interact together and the systems that exist in nature and human made worlds. Weir enjoys analysing the places where things come together and the ways they cross over. She has a tendency for fine, detailed work, primarily using watercolour on paper but is also known to bring in other materials and experiment in her making.

Moana Lee

A puzzle which fits into Moana Lee’s MFA research, substratum concerns the oxygen production and carbon sequestration equation. The lack of forest within Aotearoa necessary for those processes is her focus, particularly the positive changes made at Hinewai reserve. It was here in the late eighties, that Dr Hugh Wilson secured 1500 hectares of gorse infested hill country and consciously stood back allowing nature to take control of reforestation. Native seeds came out of dormancy and thrived beneath the gorse nurse canopy, eventually outgrowing, overshadowing and transforming that nursery into mulch.

The gorse introduced to Aotearoa as a hedgerow plant used to divide deforested pastural farmland, then ran wild and conquered it, has now turned full circle. It has transformed from an exotic invasive weed into the catalyst for reforestation.

Moana Lee utilises natural processes such as light sensitive plant juices to capture images of weeds in the form of anthotypes. She develops film with homemade nontoxic caffenol, in this project utilising water gathered from Hinewai streams. The work is framed using reclaimed pine furniture selvages from a roadside. These methods all amplify the marriage of meaning with materiality within the work.

Opening Event: Saturday 8 April, 3-5pm

March Exhibition

Close to the Wind

3 March – 2 April 2023

Coinciding with Sail GP, March sees Stoddart Cottage Gallery’s group exhibition navigate a marine theme. In Close to the Wind, artists Jo Ewing, Jane McCulla and Jan Valentine Priestley, and antique map expert Paul Arnold take creative risks and emerge in full sail.

For thirty years, Jo Ewing has been portraying “things of the land” as a respected botanical watercolourist. However, in this exhibition she explores her long-held passion for the sea, which includes meticulous paintings of classic sailing boats asea in the historic maps of the regions from which they hail. “I am definitely a sea person,” says Jo. “I lived my first five years at Tokomaru Bay on the East Coast and my earliest memories are of the edge of the land; in the warm sea shallows, intertidal spaces and sand. From the age of six I lived beside Lake Taupo where I learnt all about boats and fishing, but my heart remained with the sea.”

Award winning ceramicist, Jane McCulla presents a series of pieces that suggest elements of ship design with their blue print cyanotype imagery, a sense of the vast sea and a ship’s enduring priority to remain seaworthy. These ceramic vessels also reference two of Jane’s family members whose lives whose lives revolved around ships. “My paternal grandfather worked on the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic and tragically lost his life at Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland,” she explains. “And my Great Uncle William sailed on HMS Garthpool, a fully rigged four masted sailing ship, as a cabin boy aged fourteen.”

Jan Valentine Priestley has a long history creating works with a maritime theme, which have been exhibited from Idyllwild, California to Diamond Harbour here in New Zealand. “My work is photo imaging on paper clay,” Jan outlines. “This involves a collage of historical maps, old drawings of sea creatures and calligraphy. These sepia images are screened onto sculptured boats, life-buoys, floats and plaques and bowls.”

Paul Arnold owns the Antique Print Gallery. In this show, he is presenting historic maps that include a hand-coloured reproduction of Cook’s original chart of New Zealand, complete with original errors, such as depicting Banks Peninsula as an island.

Opening Event: Friday 3 March, 5-7pm (all welcome)


February Exhibition

Changing Atmospheres by Anet Neutze

3 – 26 February 2023

“Is there a change in the climate?”, was the question on which Anet Neutze reflected as she created the exquisite abstract watercolours for her February solo exhibition at Stoddart Cottage. Changing Atmospheres is a response to the current deepening existential crises driven by capitalism and expectations of success: from climate change and pandemics, to widening social divides between rich and poor, and a reluctance to counter these threats through making changes to our comfortable contemporary lifestyles.

Dunedin-Ōtepoti based artist, Neutze regularly uses watercolours as an aspect of her work that she has exhibited across multiple shows in New Zealand. Her practice spans botanical illustration to abstract paintings that regularly embrace a cell-like motif to create movement, space, and ambiguity. In Changing Atmospheres she explores new techniques through working with non-absorbent plywood panels. Their knots leach oils that make visible their own modifications of this human endeavour, demonstrating further organic exchanges of atmospheres.

“The work in Changing Atmospheres has been a process of intuition and chance,” Neutze explains. “Traditionally, watercolour on paper is an absorbent technique. But due to the plastic surface of the background underpainting on Plyboard, the watercolour paint tends to float on the surface, rather than being absorbed. This creates an unusual flexibility to any outcomes.”

Opening Event: Saturday 4 February 2023, 3-5pm – all welcome

January Exhibition

Edge of Water by Wayne Seyb

6 – 29 January 2023

Responding to the environment of Purau and its surrounds, Wayne Seyb presents a new body of work created during his time as the first Stoddart-Purau artist-in-residence. In his bold and richly textured depictions of the local landscapes, Seyb follows the New Zealand tradition of expressive painting. In his natural approach, he also echoes the spirit of Impressionist painter, Margaret Stoddart through his exploration of the elemental contrasts between the land and sea that also inspired her. During his highly productive residency over June 2022, many of Seyb’s works were painted en plein air.

Wayne Seyb was born in Temuka and started his painting career in Otago, a landscape characterised by lowering cloud and dark hills. Since 1999 he has lived and worked in the open spaces of Christchurch, seeking to convey the essential strangeness of the Canterbury landscape. His work reflects his life, and after the Canterbury earthquakes he painted constantly on the streets, recording buildings before they disappeared. Seyb’s work is held in the collections of the Hocken Library Dunedin, The Aigantighe Art Gallery Timaru, Lincoln University and Victoria University as well as in many private collections.

The Margaret Stoddart-Purau Artist Residency will be running for its second year in 2023. Applications are currently open, with information on how to apply at: www.stoddartcottage.nz/artist-residency

Opening Event: Saturday 7 January 2023, 2-4pm