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 Paula Smith on 027 632 9709, (03) 329 4445 or famvanbeynen@snap.net.nz.
The contact for the Stoddart Cottage Trust is Secretary on (03) 329 3006 colyernoble@xtra.co.nz.

Stoddart Cottage Trust Annual Report: April 2017 – March 2018

Visit the new Stoddart Cottage website

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.