Rita Angus is one of New Zealand’s most iconic artists.
Over the course of her life she produced a remarkable body of drawings, watercolours, and paintings. A committed feminist, and a pacifist, Angus’ work was deeply entwined with her view of the world. In her portraits and landscape paintings, with their distinctive clear colours and flat, graphic style, she created a unique image of 20th-century Aotearoa.
Te Papa have created a stunning collection of bags/purses featuring her iconic work. This clutch bag depicts the image from the painting "Rutu"
Of the many self-portraits produced by Rita Angus throughout her life, Rutu is one of the most enigmatic, richly symbolic and compelling. Although Rutu certainly bears a striking resemblance to the artist, her letters to composer Douglas Lilburn reveal that she regarded the painting as an imaginary portrait rather than a self-portrait.
Back of the purse has the inscription "Everything I paint has the sense of being alive"