Frances Hodgkins

Between Croft and Corfe

7 April 2023 - 25 February 2024

Drawn primarily from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection, this exhibition focuses on late career work by Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947), from 1939 to the mid-1940s. From the time Hodgkins departed Aotearoa New Zealand for London in 1901, she regularly travelled across Europe, North Africa, and the United Kingdom. In the 1930s, she spent much of her time moving between London and counties on the south-west peninsula of England, including Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and Sussex. 

In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, Hodgkins moved to Corfe Castle village in Dorset and was based there until 1945. Although the war made it difficult to travel far, Hodgkins continued to move between villages. She spent time in Bradford-on-Tone in Somerset over this period, working in a studio called The Croft. In letters written at this time, Hodgkins often spoke of rural life and communities, of landscape and views of the countryside, and of her daily experiences – of time spent in the studio, the variable and often harsh weather conditions, and of air raids and coastal gunfire. Through a series of landscapes populated with barns and outbuildings, animals, waterways, and farm equipment, Between Croft and Corfe highlights Hodgkins’ use of rural life as subject matter and her resilient approaches to painting over this period.

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