Catherine Cattanach: The Collector and the Artist

Catherine Cattanach is a an avid art lover and award-winning photographer with a considerable art collection in the family home in Brooklyn, Wellington.

Catherine and her husband Alistair have been supporting the NZ Art Show as Friends of the show since 2012 and, through the show and various other avenues, they’ve amassed a collection of more than 70 artists.

The home of Catherine and Alistair Cattanach is a treasure trove of New Zealand art.
Artworks in the image above, from left to right. top to bottom: ‘Morning Ponsonby‘, print by Stanley Palmer, an old print of Wellington harbour (artist unknown) ‘Unknown V’, sculpture by Sebastien Jaunas,  photo by Australian photographer Paul Hoelen, glass sculpture by Richard Landers and print by Kyla Cresswell,

CATHERINE: The Collector

Left to right: Photograph of Honeywort by Catherine Cattanach, wooden vertical panel by Sally-Tennent-Brown, and photograph by Anne Noble. Sculpture on floor in foreground by Odelle Morshuis.

Not only does she love to surround herself with beautiful art, Catherine is proud to be supporting New Zealand artists. She and Alistair attend numerous exhibitions where they’ve acquired most of their sizeable collection. In addition, several of the artworks are photographs by people in Catherine’s photography community, either purchased or acquired through print swaps..

‘The best way to sustain the New Zealand art industry is to invest in it.  

Sculpture by Graeme Hitchcock

‘The NZ Art Show has been really wonderful for me, both as an artist and as an art collector. I’ve met lots of great people from the arts community – art buyers and other artists.

Catherine and Alistair. Behind them, two photographs by Destina Munro, and ‘Te Mata Peak’, painting by Sean Beldon.

‘We always wonder where we’re going to put new art but we don’t let that stop us – we know we’ll make it work somehow. And there’s nothing like rearranging your art to keep your collection feeling fresh’

IMAGES: LEFT – Sculpture by Odelle Morshuis
RIGHT – 3 small prints by Susan Hurrell-Fieldes and wooden piece by Karolina Stus. There were some nails on this wall already and Susan’s works were hung on them temporarily, then Catherine and Alistair decided they really liked the slightly odd arrangement so they’ve stayed that way ever since.


‘Photography is like a treasure hunt – I find things that I love or which intrigue me and I ‘collect’ them. Just like going to the NZ Art Show.’

Formerly a financial journalist, Catherine rediscovered her love of photography when she returned to New Zealand from London. She established her photography business in 2008 and is now a Grand Master of Photography with the NZ Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP)

Largely self-taught, she has won four national photography titles and been a finalist for three.
She’s very focused and driven when working on a body of work and will sometimes take more than 100 photos of the same subject in order to capture the essence of her subject. For example, she took 120 photos of the Eryngium giganteum thistle (pictured below). 

Catherine has exhibited her fine art photography in the NZ Art Show since 2017, where she sold 9 out the 10 artworks she submitted. The following year she sold 36 pieces. 

‘The first NZ Art Show exhibition I participated in made me realise I could seriously pursue my creative photography as well as my paid portrait work.’

Catherine and her daughter in front of her exhibition at the 2022 NZ Art Show.

Eryngium giganteum, pictured, also known as Miss Wilmott’s Ghost. In 2018, Catherine came across some dried stems at a florist, and was fascinated by the form and colour of this plant. She made a large body of work, eventually publishing an entire book of photographic studies of this one plant, which she called ‘Homage’. This  imagery also features in one of the famous art rooms in Gallery 4 in Wellington’s QT Hotel.

On Eryngium Giganteum: “I fell in love with their sculptural quality — I love all that spikiness and the veins and the fact that they’re not your everyday pretty flower.”

Catherine continues her fascination with botanical photography. In 2021 she created a series of photographs of plants suspended by cotton thread and spotlit. Her most recent body of work, called Flux, plays with distorting flowers by photographing them through water, creating an end result reminiscent of a painting. 

More artworks in Catherine’s collection

L to R: painting by Daniel Unverricht,The Boys’ solar-plate etching by Kirsty Fyfe, and artist and artwork unknown (far right).
Photographic print by Wellington photographer Andy Spain.
Bronzerrotype #46, Huia’, bronze sculpture by Jonathan Campbell which won an R.T Nelson Award for Sculpture in 2021
Metal and ceramic sculpture by Mia Hamilton
Painting by Kim Gilchrist.
Family Structure II’, by Greg Chaston
Meeting Four’, print by Josef Kieninger.
Artworks on wall: Photographic print by Kelsi Doscher and bronze sculpture by Jonathan Campbell.
Painting  by Sarika Rama. The painting was damaged in a house fire in 2011 and it developed a slightly sooty hue that seemed to suit the piece.
‘Inlet’ by Stanley Palmer.

Some of the Artists in Catherine and Alistair’s collection

Andy SpainJosef KieningerPhilippa Blair 
Anne NobleJule BeebyPoppy Lekner
Brian BraddockKarolina StusRachel Callander
Camus WyattKelsi DoscherRichard Landers
Christina LittleKerry Ann LeeRosemary Mortimer
Claire BeynonKirsty FyfeSabrina Hyde
Dan WilkinsonKris AndersonSarika Rama
Daniel Bell Kyla CresswellSean Beldon
Daniel UnverrichtKym Gilchrist Sebastien Jaunas
David H Brown Lara GilksSimone Jackson
David McCracken Levi HawkenStanley Palmer
David OliverLisa Call Stephanie Crisp
Destiny MunroMary McIntyreSusan Hurrell-Fieldes
Emil OrlikMatthew Mitchell Tetyana Khyto
Eve WeretaMia Hamilton Tessa Williams
Glen HoweyMike HillThomas Busby
Glen JornaN StewartTim Lomax
Graeme HitchcockNicola JacksonTina McGregor
Greg ChastonNoel JohnstoneTony Carter
Harry JanssenOdelle MorshuisTrent Parke 
Helena Sellergren Paul HoelenTui McLauchlan
Janette GoodeyPhilip CourtoisVirginia Woods-Jack
Jonathan CampbellPhilip MarkhamWilliam Carroll 

2023 marks the show’s 20th anniversary. Come celebrate this milestone with us.
200 of New Zealand’s finest emerging artists will showcase new work created especially for the show.


2023 marks the show’s 20th anniversary. Come celebrate with Carla.
200 of New Zealand’s finest emerging artists will showcase new work created especially for the show.
For the remainder of February we will be donating 50% of all show day tickets sales to Cyclone Gabrielle relief.Purchase tickets online – only $10 each. Door sales will be $15.

Each ticket can be used on any ONE day – Friday, Saturday or Sunday



Secure your tickets to the Gala Evening and enjoy the added bonus of attending the VIP Preview.
The Gala Evening is art’s biggest night out with delicious canapés,
fine wine, great beer, live music and all art for sale
At the VIP Preview be the first to meet the artists and buy art

The NZ Art Show wishes to thank the following for their support: