In 1942, in a letter to Douglas Lilburn, Rita Angus writes: "The sword is the curse of my being born an artist, and also cuts across the ring, which is my marriage. A mistake for both of us, my husband and myself. The stars are Pisces and the Southern Cross. The chains are conventions holding me back from being what I am. The grinning head is Leo, the snake is man. You will notice that the eyes are intent on the mountains and not on man. I wanted the mountains, this was before I painted all those watercolours of Central Otago. The buildings are cities. And the Pyramid contains all that I didn't know and understand about myself, in other words, what I am, and my power."