Constance Weyergang: Artist, Musician, Poet

By Michele Leggott Summer 1950. Constance Weyergang, 74, is looking at the black sand and sparkling waters of Ngamotu Beach in New Plymouth. The beach is adjacent to the port that serves Taranaki and both are sheltered by a breakwater. Among the swimmers and sunbathers Constance watches could be my young parents, engaged but not Read More…

Three Paintings from 1906

By Michele Leggott Among the artists and photographers listed in the Nelson, Marlborough and Westland volume of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand (1906) is an entry for Emily Harris: Harris, Miss Emily Cumming, Artist, Nile Street, Nelson. Miss Harris was born at Plymouth, England, and is a daughter of the late Mr. Edwin Harris, one Read More…

Speaking Back to Emily Harris

By Michele Leggott We’ve noticed from the outset of our research into Emily Harris’s art and writing that responding creatively is a powerful tool for reflecting on the differences between Emily’s world and our own. There is the archival collage ‘Emily and Her Sisters,’ composed in the slipstream of discovering family artwork and papers at Read More…

All Emily’s poems

By Michele Leggott There are just ten surviving poems by Emily Harris, two from 1860 and eight from the 1890s or early 1900s. They are the visible tip of a writing practice that persisted from the time Emily was a young woman in Taranaki, teaching in her mother’s school before the war, to her later Read More…

The Alexander Turnbull Prints

TradeMe, as we have discovered before, occasionally unearths items related to Emily Harris much to our delight. Back in September last year, Catherine Field-Dodgson wrote ‘Treasure Hunting on TradeMe’ upon finding copies of Emily’s New Zealand Berries, Ferns, and Flowers. Later that year, I found a set of Alexander Turnbull Library prints of three of Read More…