Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Bunny's Secret

I have started work again on a series from last year.  The work above has been sold and is now in Europe. This series was a reaction to the death of an elderly neighbour (Marion Squire) who always sat in her front room reading as I walked past.  We never met formally... and I don't think I ever saw her outside in three years.... but I always noticed her there and was interested in the stories she must have had about her life.  She was in her nineties.  I often pondered  her life, as I knew her family owned the land our suburb was on many years ago... it had been the family farm.  The street behind us was named after her family name-'Squire Place'.  She had been the midwife of a local maternity home for over 20 years and was well known amongst older people out Inglewood way.  She passed away last year.  She had no children of her own and had not married.  Her home was sold and many rubbish 'skips' were filled with the contents of her home.... her diaries, craft work (she made lace), photos, travel bits and pieces... just everything went into the skip.  The people in the small cul-de-sac where we lived were horrified but powerless to do anything to even rescue some things for the local museum.  The local museum even has a page in their archives about her -search 'pukeariki+marion squire'  (It is called "A midwife's story).  Anyway, I did undercover of darkness, rescue a children's book with delightful 1950's illustrations.  it reminded me of the old 'Janet and John' children's books from the 1940's and 1950's.  I have used the pictures and text to make a series of banners as a tribute to her.  They are about innocence/youth/naivety but also about betrayal by the people we love/undertones of relationships....I wish I had been braver and gone and met her.