Landscape Photography: Cass

I’ve wanted to visit the little red railway station at Cass since I fell in love with Rita Angus’ painting (simply titled Cass, 1936) when I was a teenager studying Art History.

It was – and still is! – my favourite painting. It has a rhythm in the foothills and mountains that speaks of her joy in the place, and the striking shade of red that the station is painted is so iconic in rural New Zealand.

I have seen the roadsign that points to Cass from the main road to Arthur’s Pass and always thought “I should really stop there one day…”. Well, that day finally came.

We were on an escape-from-the-city driveabout to the mountains and as soon as I wistfully said “I’ve always wanted to visit there…” as we were once again driving past the road sign Greg said “Let’s do it!”, and turned the car around. I’m so glad he did, it totally exceeded my expectations and was barely changed (other than the size of the trees!) from when Rita Angus painted it.

I took a bunch of shots (some of which I have in mind for a mosaic piece) but my favourite is the straight-on shot using my Lensbaby Muse (with single glass optic) which gives it an air of softness and nostalgia. The Lensbaby’s system of creating blur also suggests a bit of movement, a subtle homage to the joyous movement Rita Angus has put into the hills and mountains in her painting.

Cass Station, Canterbury, New Zealand. Art Photography by Astrid Erasmuson.

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