A videographer captures a landscape shot

Our current exhibition Rita Angus: New Zealand Modernist opens with a stunning, immersive projection of her iconic work Central Otago.

You’ll find visitors leisurely drinking it in before they continue through the exhibition, giving them a sense of separation from the busyness of the outside world.

Subsequently, sales of Central Otago merch have been among the highest in the range, so we wanted to dive in and find out more about the talent behind this captivating piece of work.

To show the artwork at this level of detail and scale took careful digitisation by Te Papa’s Digital Producer – Prue Donald.

Here she shares her thoughts on the project:

 Taking visitors deep into Rita Angus’ iconic oil painting, Central Otago combined several passions of mine as a digital producer: Rita Angus, the Central Otago landscape, and filmmaking.

Our filming took us from Te Papa’s Art Conservators who shared their insights into her technique, to locations in Central Otago (see image) Rita captured in her evocative watercolour sketches. We did take some artistic license. In her oil painting, Rita painted a tree by the lake exactly as she sketched it in watercolour. She titled the sketch ‘Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables’. We chose to film the famous willow tree at Lake Wanaka.

You can find these pieces, along with the rest of the Rita Angus range here.

View a brief snippet of the digitised artwork here: