“Interestingly, Flora Scales was perhaps the star of the show. A number of her late oils show the range of influences acting on her, and the kinds of skills and style she passed on to Toss Woollaston and, through Woollaston, McCahon."
[Mousehole Cornwall 2]
View of harbour at low tide. Foreground group of beached row boats. Derrick centre midground and houses on cliff upper left.
LL inky blue brush point Flora Scales
LR white over blue and ochre brush point H Scales
Purchased by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand, from the Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand, exhibition Helen F V Scales, 1976
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Christchurch, New Zealand
Title and date supplied by the artist for the Auckland City Art Gallery, New Zealand, exhibition Helen F V Scales, 1975-1976. Listed as artwork no. 3 in this exhibition.
Alternative title, Mousehole, Cornwall, taken from Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, New Zealand, documentation.
In a wall label written for The Cornish Connection at The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, New Zealand, 2017-2018, Julie Catchpole, Director, writes, “In the 1950s [Scales] must have spent time in Cornwall where by then her handling of paint is very loose and broad, almost to the point of abstraction.”
In conversation with B. de Lange, 1983, Scales spoke of living in “a horrible yellow house in Mousehole.” The yellow house seen in this painting, Untitled [Mousehole, Cornwall 1] [BC028] and Untitled [Mousehole, Cornwall 3] [BC030] could possibly be the one to which she was referring.
As in Untitled [Mousehole Cornwall 1] [BC028] and Untitled [Mousehole Cornwall 3] [BC030], the derrick is the focal point which links this painting with similar shapes of ship masts [Shipping, Wellington Harbour [BC128]] and agaves [Untitled [Mediterranean Scene] 1 [BC016]] of Scales’s earlier work, and to the divided tree trunks of her 1970s paintings [Bry-sur-Marne, Orchard [BC069], Orchard With Plum Tree  [BC072]].
‘The Cornish Connection at the Suter Art Gallery, Nelson’ by Michael Moore-Jones, https://mmoorejones.com/cornish-connection-suter-art-gallery-nelson/, 2017
Photo by John Collie