[Head of a Girl]

Portrait head of a female child. Blue, brown, red and yellow in colour.

Other title(s)
c. 1978
Object type
Medium and materials
oil crayon on paper
Place Made
Rotorua, New Zealand
Current Collection

Private Collection

Current Location

New Zealand

General notes

Sophie, the subject, is Scales's great, great niece. Her father, Piers Westacott, was the original owner of the work. Dated according to supplied approximate age of the subject.

Alternative title, Sophie, taken from the exhibition Flora Scales at The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, New Zealand, 2018.

Excerpt from Toss Woollaston's essay for B. de Lange, 1992, “Sophie is done in coloured oil crayon on paper with an arrangement of strokes that yields, on analysis, a composition that, though very simple, is also very subtle and interesting. There are two sets of strokes, one blue and one brown, that are only slightly varied from the vertical. The blue strokes, all in the background except one that comes forward emphatically to define the neck, appear longer than the brown ones, which are in lateral bands, representing the hair. Contrasting with these two kinds of vertical strokes are single horizontalish lines, long ones for the top of the head and for the lower part of the face, and short ones to define the features. The benefit of a lifetime’s attention to construction is in this apparently simple drawing of Sophie – whose image, spontaneous as it looks, is very well served by her great-aunt(?) [great, great aunt] Flora’s profound knowledge of the principles of art that saturate this simple-looking drawing.”


Essay by Toss Woollaston, 1992, reproduced with the kind permission of the Toss Woollaston Trust, May 2021

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