BC075

Pear Tree

Landscape. Left side of canvas, forked motif with a third vertical reaching to the upper margin. Right side of canvas, brown vertical element with five offset bars or horizontal shapes. Upper framing edge, amorphous pale shape between the two darker vertical elements.

Other title(s)
Orchard with Plum Tree
Date
1970
Object type
painting
Medium and materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
261x335mm
Place Made
Bry-sur-Marne, France
Inscriptions

LR brown brush point H Scales

Verso on canvas (in artist's hand) F or H Scales 1970 (initial illegible)

Details
Provenance

Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979

Copyright Licence
Courtesy Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Reference no. G-352
Current Collection

Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand

Current Location

Wellington, New Zealand

General notes

Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by the artist, 1979. Title and date supplied by artist at time of donation.

This is probably the painting titled Orchard with Plum Tree (no. 39) from the exhibition Helen F V Scales at Auckland City Art Gallery, 1975-1976. The title change from Plum Tree to Pear Tree may have been a revised memory by the artist at the time of donation to Alexander Turnbull Library.

Alexander Turnbull documentation suggests “... probably in or near Rotorua”. Scales returned to New Zealand 1972.

Central ‘V’ shape recalls masts and derricks of earlier work such as Shipping, Wellington Harbour [BC128] and Untitled [Mousehole Cornwall] [BC030].

Exhibitions
References

Foreword by Colin McCahon, Helen F V Scales exhibition catalogue, Auckland City Art Gallery, November 1975

“We hope this exhibition will tell people of a lifetime of painting, from her sometimes didactic early work to the poetry of her plum trees [BC071-BC075, BC077] and the portraits [BC065, BC066, BC120].

The beauty of her vision comes from her thinking about painting and from the grace and care she gives to her work. Without this, how could the plum trees have grown and the portraits become so real?”

‘Flora Scales Work on Show’ by T. J. McNamara, New Zealand Herald, 9 January 1976

“Despite their small scale the works look best seen from a considerable distance. Most appealing are some anemones painted in 1968 [BC051], and a charming Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077] painted quite recently.”

'Art award a lottery for losers' by James Ross, The Week, 16 July 1976, pg 17

“In the 1969-70 series, Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077], there is an eastern almost zen-like approach to nature.”

‘A Personal Reminiscence’ by Gretchen Albrecht, Art New Zealand, issue 37, 1985, pg 52

“Also displayed along with the self-portraits was a group of Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077] paintings, exquisitely beautiful in their blushes and strokes of paint; edges dissolving and reassembling in planes of colour, and revealing an intelligent understanding of post-cubist ideas derived from Cézanne’s principles of organising pictorial space. My response to the poetic vision of these paintings was immediate and intense, and I left the Gallery driven by an urgent desire to meet and speak to the woman who had painted them.”

'A Friend of Flora' by Gretchen Albrecht, Flora Scales, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, 2018, pp 39-43

“My response to these self portraits [Portrait 2 [BC065], Portrait 3 [BC066], Portrait 1 [BC120]] and a poetic group of landscapes all titled ‘ Orchard and Plum Tree’ [BC071-BC075, BC077], with their strokes of paint dissolving and reassembling edges and planes of colour, was immediate and intense. I left the gallery driven by an urgent desire to meet and speak to the woman who had painted them...For me she was living proof that painting could stand at the core of a woman’s life and sustain her through anything. She was humble and unambitious for herself but always hungry for painting knowledge, which ended in her 98th year. I am richer for having known and loved her.”