Photographer Philippa O’Brien travelled the world before coming home to Kingston. Now, her latest adventure is more personal; the opening of a new art gallery at her lakeside cottage.
In this bright room, you’ll find copies of her three books. ‘Photo Fables,’ (whimsical tales without words.) ‘How Art’ (a book of poems and photos with her Dad, Des.) And ‘Skateface,’ her sensitive portrayal of New Zealand’s roller derby world.
There are huge, framed photos of cowboys on the gallery walls, part of Pip’s recent rodeo series.
And what about the carefully-oiled yes/no river stones? These are ‘Seyonstones’ — a tool that Philippa created to “help when you just can’t make up your mind.”
Art photography — on old-fashioned, film cameras — is Philippa’s passion. Her photos are detailed and thought-provoking. The more you look, the more there is to see.
But, before she got behind the lens, Philippa O’Brien had another intriguing career. I’ve always wanted to know more about the world of movie costumes, so I was thrilled when Pip agreed to tell me all about her job as a costumier.
Last year Jane Sutherland wowed us in Athol with a fashion show at the Hide. It had everything you’d expect: sleek hair, sexy make-up. Lights, music, models — go-getting locals rocked the gorgeous clothes on stage. What a night!
Jane’s known for her signature style. That’s top-quality fabric and timeless design married with hand-made metal jewellery. More than anything I craved the white coat. Wish I didn’t spend half my life hunched over a laptop and the other half with kids or on the farm.
I know zilch about fashion. So my questions tumbled out when I met Jane at her Kingston studio. After 20+ years in the fashion biz, there was a lot to talk about.