4. Joan

This is my mum’s painting of Joan Fanning. By the time the two had met, Joan had already studied at London’s Slade school (one of the first New Zealanders to) and was about to go to St. Martins on the recommendation of their ferocious teacher, Barc (Helen Crabb, but more on her later) A calm Catholic woman, I remember Joan as elegantly dressed and quiet. Having trained as a school teacher, Joan first taught at Mt. Cook primary school and then later at the Correspondence School, culminating as an education officer at the National Art Gallery.

As she became older, my mother and I would visit Joan at her home behind the Church of the Holy Family, at the top of Willis St, Wellington. Inevitably it was to ‘sit to’, once I was able to consciously and consistently hold a pose.



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