In honour of NZ Modernist writer Katherine Mansfield's birthday last week, I wrote a short piece for the Katherine Mansfield Society, London, about how Mansfield inspired my portrait of her:
" 'Jose, the butterfly, always came down in a silk petticoat and kimono jacket'
I have never forgotten this line. I almost forgot from which of Katherine Mansfield's stories it came (The Garden Party), but I have never forgotten those fourteen words, so sinuously sewn together, read aloud by my high school teacher on a gentle summer's day. This is perhaps because when I heard them, I immediately wanted to be Jose. In that one line, Mansfield creates an image of a woman who is at once delicate and self-assured, beautiful yet unassuming, and a woman is routinely different. This is how I have come to see Mansfield herself..."
Read on: http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety.org/assets/Resources/greer/Katherine-Mansfield-by-Greer-Townshend.pdf