Katherine Mansfield was one of my earliest introductions to New Zealand – we read some of her short stories (The Garden Party and At the Bay) in high school, and that, combined with learning poi dancing in primary school, was all I really knew or thought of New Zealand as a child or teen.
So when I moved to NZ, of course I was interested to visit the museum that has been made from the house she was born in.
For the last year I’ve been privileged to be involved with the museum – giving a talk about fashion and Mansfield last year, and lending items for exhibitions.
Last weekend I got to do a photoshoot at the Katherine Mansfield House & Garden museum: dressing two models up as characters from her life & writings, and posing scenes in the house. We imagined the shoot as Mansfield remembering her childhood and thinking up stories and writing up little sketches – a mix of reality and fantasy, memories and plots.
There was, of course, an official photographer, with the full equipment setup, but I got to take little candid snaps behind the scenes, and of the models when they weren’t on-set (and I wasn’t in the midst of changing them and re-doing their hair).
Here are some of my favourites, serious and not serious:
Many thanks to the museum for having me, and to the fabulous models for getting so excited about dressing up all day.