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The Iris Garden

Margaret Scott was born in Opunake, Taranaki in 1947 and has lived all her life on the Taranaki coast in New Zealand.  


Margaret describes her work as personal symbolism, as it is based on personally acquired and assimilated experiences of her life and the environment where she lives. This environment, between the mountain, Mt Egmont/Taranaki, and the Taranaki coastline is reflected through the symbols she paints within her work.  


Shellfish, such as Paua and the ocean, feature strongly in her work as it symbolises the memories of her childhood growing up on the coast at Oaonui, and the coastal environment itself.


For 35 years Margaret lived on a dairy farm with her husband Ian, and bought up their 4 children, painted, and helped with the running of the farm. The paintings of cows reflect this time in her life.


Her work now also focuses on the views she has of the Kaitaki ranges and the native plants in her garden such as Nikaus, Pukas, flax and Cabbage trees, and the many flowers that appear in her paintings. This new environment, with beautiful views of the sea is an abundant resource for creative ideas.

Margaret taught polytechnic and art night classes in the early years when her children were young and then for 10 years she was HOD of Art at Opunake High School.

For the last 15 years Margaret has lived in Oakura, which is a coastal village 10 minutes south of New Plymouth and has built a studio next to her new home where she exhibits her work, and runs workshops for adults and extension classes for students.


She is also a member of the Oakura Arts Trail which is a thriving arts community where artists open their studios to the public.


Margaret paints mainly in acrylics, but she also paints with watercolours and mixed media.  She alternates her media so she does not become bored with her work. Margaret has also explored the printmaking techniques of zinc and solar plate etching, and often works with clay.


In 2015 she wrote and produced her own book called ‘Self Portrait of a Paua'.  


She has produced many commissioned works and is the designer of the Jason Products placemats the 'Sea Bounty' series, which are marketed throughout New Zealand and overseas.  She has a large range of prints and cards for sale produced from her original work.

Margaret Scott:
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