Wednesday 21 March 2007

Annie, get your gun

This is one of my favourite works from the Alexander Turnbull Library's Drawings, Paintings and Prints collection - a small (67 x 90 mm) watercolour by Charles Heaphy, from 1853.

I can remember seeing this little fragment of a work on a tutorial visit to the Turnbull when I was studying art history at Victoria. I was really taken by its oddity - the fierce little woman with her shotgun, the woman in white, looking like a sacrificial virgin, and the buttoned-up lady with the big hankie. I've wondered since then - what were they warding off?

Image: Charles Heaphy (1820-1881) '[Shooting party], Mansion House, Kawau [Island]', 1853. Watcolour. Collection of the Alexander Turnbull Library. Reference number: A-164-046.

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