Cheryl Bernstein happened to do her art detective work recently looking for the location of a painting by Doris Lusk, so its funny that my most recent detective work involved the same artist.
Doris Lusk was educated in Dunedin and attended the art school at King Edward College from 1934-39. Following a trip to Mapua (Nelson) in 1939, where she stayed at Toss and Edith Woollaston’s home with Colin McCahon, Patrick Hayman, Rodney Kennedy and Elespie Forsyth, Lusk and several other artists (including Hamblett) took over an ex-photographic studio in the UFS building (I believe this was formerly the Burton Brother’s studio). This photo was taken in the studio at the time of Lusk’s 1940 solo exhibition.
On Monday, I went in search of this studio as I heard it was still largely intact. It is on the second story of what appears externally to be an art deco building. At the top of the stairs remnants of the pressed tin ceiling is still in place and a large skylight closed in with clear corrugated roofing (not glass) lights up a small foyer. I’d been warned it was a “warren up there”. The many doors leading off the foyer seemed original, but were firmly closed. I don’t have great spatial ability, but I figure there must have been several larger rooms behind them even though the floorplate of the building isn’t large.
After some googling I found this picture of one of the businesses behind the doors. I think it’s the other side of the building though
So still a lot of detective work to do but I’m on it. I will post a photo here when I track down Doris’ studio properly.