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

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


November Exhibition

Natural Succession at Stoddart Cottage

4 – 27 November 2022 

November sees a retrospective of works by Diamond Harbour watercolourist, June Macleod, and new paintings featuring her by her son, the award-winning Sydney-based artist, Euan Macleod. Titled Natural Succession, the show highlights the hereditary nature of creativity. June’s father and Euan’s grandfather, Herbert Macleod was a master wood turner, whose projects included work on the interior of Christchurch Cathedral.
June Macleod, was born in Christchurch in 1931, painting until her eighties. After taking an art course through the Wellington Correspondence School as a young mother, and studying watercolour under respected local painter, Joy Simmons she went on to show her work in many group exhibitions. June’s main focus was landscapes, lately those of Diamond Harbour where she lived until 2021, surrounded by the beautiful garden that inspired her later closely observed iris and rose paintings.

Born in Christchurch in 1956, Euan Macleod completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, before moving to Sydney in 1981. His work is held in public collections ­- from the National Gallery of Victoria to the Metropolitan Museum, New York – and won numerous awards, including Australia’s prestigious Archibald Prize. He regularly explores relationships between humanity and the environment, and the processes of memory and forgetting that shape people and places. In this show, his mother, June becomes the human figure in his works, walking through the local landscapes central to her life.

June and Euan have had one previous exhibition together in the 1990s at Wellington’s Bowen Galleries. It seems fitting that at this time of June’s life, many examples of her arresting works are exhibited together as a comprehensive body of work. It is also a completion of the current family circle that she and Euan, who have been each other’s great admirers over the decades, should be exhibiting together once more.
If June is well enough she will be attending the opening event with Euan on Saturday 5 October, 2-4pm, to which all are welcome.
June Macleod & Euan Macleod, Natural Succession runs 4-27 November 2022

October Exhibition

Structures and Reflections by Don McAra

7 – 30 October 2022

Opening Event: Saturday 8th October 3-5pm

Award-winning painter, Don McAra returns to Stoddart Cottage Gallery in October with an exploration of structures sculpted from the materials and contours of local landscapes, and the patterns and reflections thrown by its tides. Evoked in oils and watercolours, much of the work exhibited in Structures and Reflections has a maritime theme, often set around or near to Lyttelton Harbour, embracing both contemporary and past, pre-earthquake vistas.

Don is known primarily as a representational landscape artist, painting en plein air and in the studio. After teaching art, for the last 35 years he has been working full time as a professional artist. Initially training at Dunedin Technical College School of Art, he went on to study watercolours under H.V. Miller, and life painting with Doris Lusk. He has exhibited widely in commercial galleries in Christchurch, shown regularly with the Otago Art Society, and his work is found in many private collections within and beyond New Zealand. This year Don was selected by Watercolour New Zealand to show his work in an international exhibition in Perth Australia.

Here Don shares what’s in store for visitors to his forthcoming exhibition at Stoddart Cottage:

Most things have a structure, natural as well as man-made. The Rangitata River sculpts its own structures in shingle. The outgoing tide sculpts its own patterns and reflections around the head of Lyttelton Harbour. Indeed, most of the works in this exhibition are set around or near to Lyttelton Harbour.

Since childhood when somebody introduced me to the watercolours and etchings of Scots artist Muirhead Bone, and influenced also by my own father’s work before his death in WW2, I have always been interested in drawing. Drawing underlies most of these oils and watercolours as it did in my previous exhibition in the Stoddart Cottage.

Perhaps the best example is the watercolour of the rigging and crow’s nest of the replica of Cook’s “Endeavour” which I photographed when it visited Lyttelton years ago. This work was one of those chosen to represent New Zealand watercolourists in the International Watercolourists exhibition recently held in Perth.

The maritime theme of that continues in other ways in many of the other Lyttelton works on show. My interest in heritage matters is also obvious. Included is the occasion years ago when the old tug Lyttelton which I photographed when she was in dry dock; also the view from above of the pre-quake Time Ball Station which I once painted from the same angle as an online photo from Lorina Adkin’s collection.

Shipping has always fascinated me. As an eleven year old I won a “Dunedin Star” first prize for a painting from memory of Wellington waterfront. A more up to date representation of Lyttelton shipping here is “The Shipping News” based on a photo I took earlier this year.

I have an occasional interest in portraiture, so have included the structure of a bass tuba and its player here, and also a structural entanglement in oils of an anonymous couple I snapped in a garden in Spain. Then there is the simple sketch of the late George Genet when we were doing Plein Air sketches together.

Finally on show are several land form structures on the Port Hills and elsewhere locally. As with all the work here, drawn free hand in search of a good underlying composition.

Don McAra

September Exhibition


2 September – 2 October 2022

Opening Event: Saturday 3rd September 2-4pm

New Zealand’s native flora is magnified to reveal its full splendour in Frances Malcolm’s September exhibition of paintings at Stoddart Cottage Gallery. Developing her distinctive style over the last 15 years, Malcolm uses striking macro imagery in vibrant oils on large scale canvases. Playing with light, shape and form in her work, she counterpoises vivid realism with areas of ambiguity and intrigue.

Frances Malcolm is an Australian born artist, now residing in the Banks Peninsula, where she finds much of her inspiration. A trip to New Zealand saw her fall for the country and move here permanently in 2005. After gaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, she went on to study for a Graduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning (Secondary). A qualified art teacher, Frances has taught across multiple Christchurch schools, whilst also raising a young family. Her current focus is the development of her own art practice, alongside sharing her skills through private art classes.

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/