self-portrait (with moth and caterpillar) – rita angus

this is unfinished as you can see but it is still lovely. what is there not to love about rita angus? and the affair with douglas lilburn seems very scandalous especially in her day but apparently he was a closet homo-sexual. anyway aside from the various obscure extraneous contextual stuff, the forming of new zealand’s artistic history and so forth, i think this is an interesting work. she made many self-portraits but kept them to herself but who explicitly includes a moth and its baby in their self-portrait let alone title of the work? they can only mean well many different things. if we use the moth as a metaphor for drab tiny insignificant modest and so on, wondering why she has them on her shoulder can give us some meaning here. the unfinishedness if you will, yet the colouring added to the moth and caterpillar, also suggests that she no longer wanted to continue this line of thought or maybe she had sorted it all out mentally by this time. anyway, rita angus’s work is very cool and very new zealand.

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