DP Photo Challenge: ambience, take 3

Interior shot of art studio. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Studio interior. Inspirations, materials, colour and a space to create. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I mentioned in yesterday’s post about spending time in my friend Claire‘s art studio. It was an interesting experience for me, sharing a creative space with others, but working on my own project.

Studio interior with finished works. Claire Delaney, artist. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Finished work by Claire Delaney, artist. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I’m sure the space itself — well-lit, colourful and joyous — helps the creative process.

Daily Post Photo Challenge ¦ Ambience


Double-exposure portrait of clown doll. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Clown puppet; double-exposure portrait. Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

My artist friend Claire Delaney works from a studio that manages to be simultaneously a tranquil creative space and an Aladdin’s Cave of curiosities and treasures. I spent time there yesterday; thinking, writing and taking photos.

Hanging on a wall she has a clown puppet whose face offered such ambiguity of expression, I couldn’t resist editing two shots together.

A contribution to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, at Lens and Pens by Sally.

DP Photo Challenge: names, take 2

Headstone of Emily Keeling, a 17 year old girl shot in Auckland, 2 April, 1886. Image: Su Leslie, 2012

Seen several years ago in an old Auckland cemetery. I read the word “shot” on this headstone inscription and knew I had to learn more about the life of Emily Keeling. Image: Su Leslie, 2013

Sometimes, all that remains for us to know and honour the dead are their headstones in long-abandoned cemeteries.

Four years ago, I found — quite by accident — this headstone.

Sacred to the memory of Emily Mary the beloved daughter of George and Emily Keeling of Arch Hill who was shot while on her way to the Primitive Methodist Church Bible Class Alexandra Street April 2nd 1886. Aged 17 years.

Guns deaths have traditionally been rare New Zealand, so I was curious as to how a 17 year old girl came to be shot dead on what was, even in 1886, an urban street.

So like any family historian, I went home and researched the life and death of Emily Keeling.

It’s a tragic story. Emily was a victim of intimate, or partner, violence — shot by a young man whose offer of marriage she had rejected.

I’ve written about Emily’s story in more detail in other posts:

And now for something completely different

A monument to loss, and a touchstone for action

Remembering Emily Keeling and working to end domestic violence

Four years ago the name Emily Keeling meant nothing to me. Now that I know her story, she has joined that tragically long list of names of New Zealand women murdered by men who knew and claimed to love them.

Names we must never forget — a list we must work to end.