Shona McFarlane

b. 1929d. 2001

Shona McFarlane was born in Gore. She studied at the Dunedin Teachers' College before becoming an art teacher, initially in New Zealand from 1950 to 1952, and then in London through the mid-1950s.

McFarlane returned to Dunedin, working as a journalist and Women's Editor of the Dunedin Star. She was president of the Otago Art Society in 1960s, and served on the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council. Until 1975, she also sat on the Otago Theatre Trust committee, on the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Council, and was president of the Dunedin Civic Arts Council. Through these roles she campaigned to preserve several historic Dunedin buildings.

Continuing to paint, mainly in acrylic or watercolour, McFarland also carried out a number of large stained-glass commissions including works for the Manukau City Centre, Linton Army Camp, the Dunedin Public Library, Dunedin Teachers' College and St Andrew's Church, Kohimarama, in Auckland.

McFarlane became a public figure as an original panellist of the long-running chat show Beauty and the Beast, appearing alongside Selwyn Toogood and Catherine Tizard from 1976 to 1985.

She was also Vice President of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts for many years.

McFarlane wrote six books, and her paintings appear primarily in museums, art galleries, and private collections.

See also:

Shona McFarlane, ‘The Rainbow’ (1976), Westfield Manukau City Mall, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2021