Archdeacon Davies; Toss WOOLLASTON; 1967; 502


Archdeacon Davies

About this object

A side profile ink and wash portrait of Archdeacon Walter Merlin Davies, an acquaintance of Christchurch poet, Ursula Bethall, who was a mentor to Toss Woollaston.



Date Made


Medium and Materials

Pen, brush and ink on paper

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Description

1967 was the last year that Toss Woollaston lived in Greymouth. In 1966 he signed Peter McLeavey as his dealer and was finally able to concentrate on producing artworks and bring in a comfortable income. By 1968 the Woollastons had enough money set aside that they moved back to Riwaka and the landscapes that Woollaston found so stimulating.

Portraiture continued as an important element in Woollaston's work and he developed it throughout his career. He stated that he observed 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

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