Ivy Grace Fife
Born in Christchurch, Ivy Fife attended the Canterbury College School of Fine Art where she was to stay for the next thirty-nine years, first as a student and then as a student teacher until being appointed a full-time staff member in 1934. She studied here under Archibald Nicoll, Cecil Kelly and Frances Shurrock who she felt had the greatest influence on her style. Her contemporaries included Olivia Spencer Bower, Bill Sutton and Russell Clark.
While she was little recognized outside the Canterbury region during her life time, one reviewer of the 1945 CSA Exhibition said 'Not by any means a new contributor, but one whose work is more prominent than it has previously been is Ivy Fife: 'Ping Pong', one of her submissions for the exhibition that year was referred to as 'a clever piece of patterning', and 'Mountain Range' impressive in its massiveness'. Another reviewer referred to 'the landscapes of Ivy Fife as being 'among the most impressive of the exhibition'.
Her influence was significant not only as a teacher but also as a Council member of the Canterbury Society of Arts from 1949 to 1966 and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery.
In 1977, a retrospective exhibition of Fife's work was held at the Robert McDougall Gallery (now the Christchurch Art Gallery). The artist had helped plan this exhibition but died shortly before it opened.
Ivy Fife was recently featured in Art New Zealand #169