Alix Simpson with Cat; Toss WOOLLASTON; 1963; 498


Alix Simpson with Cat

About this object

An ink and wash sketch of a figure holding a cat in their arms and reclining on a high-backed chair.



Date Made


Medium and Materials

Pen, brush and ink on paper

Place Made


Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords

New Zealand/South Island/West Coast/Greymouth

Subject and Association Description

Having given up his Rawleigh's salesman run in order to take up a trip to Europe sponsored by a Government Arts Council grant, Toss Woollaston began to struggle financially on return to Greymouth. Although his reputation was on the rise, he was still unable to support himself wholely through his art.

Portraiture was an important element in Woollaston's work and he continued to develop it throughout his career. He described his approach as observing the subject "sometimes for quite a long time, till I find their most natural attitudes and movements. I do not copy their actual physical movements...but I have a rich means of suggesting them - the lean and tilt of the different planes and volumes in contrasting directions..." (Barnett, 1991, p.67). These suggestions of physical appearance and underlying personality were achieved in quick and spontaneous compositions, displaying the dramatic energy of his style.

Named Collection

Woollaston Davies Collection

Credit Line

Gifted by the artist in 1979

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from

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