[Mousehole Cornwall 2]

View of harbour at low tide. Foreground group of beached row boats. Derrick centre-midground and houses on cliff upper left.

Other title(s)
Mousehole, Cornwall
c. 1950 1959
Object type
Medium and materials
oil on canvas
Place Made
Cornwall, England

LL inky blue brush point Flora Scales

LR white over blue and ochre brush point H Scales

Credit Line

Purchased by the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, Christchurch from the Auckland City Art Gallery exhibition Helen F V Scales, 1976

Copyright Licence
Courtesy Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, New Zealand, Ref. no. 76/65, https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/collection/76-65/helen-flora-victoria-scales/mousehole-cornwall
Current Collection

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū

Current Location

Christchurch, New Zealand

General notes

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 collection entry https://christchurchartgallery.org.nz/collection/76-65/helen-flora-victoria-scales/mousehole-cornwall.

In a wall label written for the exhibition titled The Cornish Connection, 2017-2018, Julie Catchpole, Director of The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu, Nelson 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 [2] [BC072]].


‘The Cornish Connection at the Suter Art Gallery, Nelson’ by Michael Moore-Jones, https://mmoorejones.com/cornish-connection-suter-art-gallery-nelson/, 2017

“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."