Born in Christchurch in 1915, a descendent of the pioneering Deans family of Riccarton, Alistair Austen Deans is recognised as one of New Zealand's most outstanding artists. Signing his art A. A. Deans, he paints in both watercolour and oil. Austen began painting at the age of 12, and after gaining a Diploma at the University of Canterbury School of Art in 1938, Austen Deans has painted professionally ever since. During World War 11, Austen was an assistant to N.Z. war artist Peter McIntyre. After being injured in Crete, he was captured and sent to a P.O.W. hospital. After the war, Austen studied art in England at the Sir John Cass College, before returning to N.Z. In 1981, Austen Deans travelled to Antarctica to paint. Austen passed away 2011.