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Birth.

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With not even a year having passed since her second-born had died, her fourth was born. Me. Spring had arrived but I was two weeks late and jaundiced.  No doubt my family probably still didn't know up from down. Over the next five years, Joan Fanning set a rhythm of bussing to our house once a week in order to draw mother and child. Te Papa has a...

My mother ‘sat to’.

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This is my mother, Pat Fry, or Paddy as she was to her family. Her friend, Joan Fanning, who trained at both London's Royal College and Slade painted it and the wee bump behind the belt is me.  Joan said that she noticed my mum's spirit lift from unimaginable grief at the beginning of the sitting to half a year later, when she completed it. It would've been only a few months earlier that my family lost their second-born, a son who had barely turned...