One of the most obvious ways we express our personal style and creativity is with our appearance and clothing. Some of us prefer the background of style. Others expensive glacial magazine elegance. Some of us are statement pieces. Diane, whom Lee Switzer and I met in Greerton in 2017, is a personal creative statement.
In my role as an ARTbop contributor I meet many of the Bay of Plenty’s community whose appearance is an adjunct to their creative practice, I instantly think of the Incubator Director Simone Anderson, the “rock” photographer Corinne Rutherford, artist Jackie Gray and her muso partner Baz Mantis and of course the distinctly dreadlocked Dhaivat Mehta.
Lee Switzer and I had just finished a conversation with the ebullient and expressive Bay of Plenty Symphonia Conductor Justus Rozemond. It had been a highlight interview intensified by the excitement and delight of Rozemond (and the local music world) about the discovery of an historic musical score. And then, as if to make it a “perfect day” Diane appeared at Le Chat Noir, Greerton.
Everything about the woman in front of me said, personal style, alternative style, self-worth attention to detail, personal care, creative expression. What was instantly most striking was the hair: black and white dreadlocks. I’m entranced and tell Switzer I’m going to seek her participation in a photo-essay of style.
Diane is initially taken aback by our request but laughingly accedes to posing outside Le Chat Noir for an ARTbop personal style photo essay. Those of you who are regular ARTbop readers will know that Switzer has the ability to capture the essence of his subject and produce often offbeat, quirky and insightful portraits.
There is an attention to detail and a comprehensiveness about Diane’s presentation.
There is another statement the vibrant Diane is making. Mature women do not have to disappear into the background of clothing conformity and non-entity. It’s often said that the most marginalised of our community are “grey haired older women” – well, no-one is marginalising this woman!
Congratulations to this style-maven and to ARTbop photographer Lee Switzer for capturing Diane’s fundamental creativity and personal style
Photography by Lee Switzer Text by Rosemary Balu
Lee Switzer: Lee is a regular contributor to ARTbop – photo essays, articles and poetry. Lee is multi-talented producing sought-after images of local artists and exhibitions. He has been an archival photographer around Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty for some years – the details of this body of work are below. You can find examples of Lee’s contributions in our ARTbop archives.
More photos by Lee Switzer at http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/en/tauranga_city_libraries_history/topics/show/2538-article-index-lee-switzer
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.
AND WHILE YOU’RE HERE! CHECK OUT OUR RECENT ARTICLES AND VIDEOS AND WATCH OUT FOR WHAT WE’VE GOT LINED UP TO PUBLISH: videos of a stylish Western Bays vintage boutique, a review of Converted Houses and a quick conversation with the hardworking Birgitt Shannon.
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