Helen Stewart

Helen Stewart studied art in Australia during the 1920's and 1930's and her formative influences were the Sydney painters Grace Crossington-Smith and Roland Wakelin. Stewarts work is marked by an adventurous handling of planes and a distinctive use of colour.

If painters like Colin McCahon and M. T. Woollaston painted the New Zealand landscape as a tough, existential arena in which issues of individual and national identity were confronted, for Helen Stewart the landscape was a more lyrical and therapeutic setting. Her landscapes are personable and full of light, colour and gently undulating forms. As in the paintings of Frances Hodgkins, buildings and fences merge into the landscape, adding to the harmonious feeling.

An interesting fact; Helen Stewart's brother Gordon Stewart, was a Deputy Chairman of the Bank of New Zealand.