En Plein Air

An update on The Art of the Hut project

From rustic dunnies to possum dinners Felicity Deverell's project to paint the backcountry huts of the North Island has taken her on adventures she could never have imagined two years ago. Now, after making her way around the North Island back country she is exhibiting the results in Whangarei. We caught up with Felicity on how she got on.

© Felicity Deverell

She found all sorts of huts along the way, some that were 'free to stay in and very basic, having only a water supply and perhaps a smoky fire' and others with 'double glazing and gas', all the while carting around sketchbooks, pencils, pastels, charcoal and easels. She says she has tried to capture that feeling as you emerge from the bush and to the sight of a cosy rustic hut, the promise of warmth, food and sleep.

© Felicity Deverell

A novice tramper before she started, Felicity has no doubt covered more miles than most in the last two years. She says she has discovered the satisfaction of 'looking back over a panoramic view after climbing for hours on end' and the addiction of being in 'the middle of nowhere.'

© Felicity Deverell

When we first talked to Felicity two years ago she indicated she wanted to work on a side-project to capture the stoves and fireplaces of the huts. In the end she filled a sketchbook 'entirely with watercolour sketches of various dunnies.' We're glad someone has finally documented this all too important feature of the New Zealand backcountry experience.

For her next project Felicity is planning on staying a little closer to home and writing a book on her adventures. For now, we suggest you get yourself to the exhibition for a booster shot of hut love.

The Art of a Hut Exhibition
10 - 29th November 2015
Rayburn House, Whangeri