Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū will be operating a little differently while our city remains Orange under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework. That means you’ll need to show your My Vaccine Pass when you visit us, and wear your mask and scan or sign in. Mā te wā, see you soon.
Summer green as lint / wound about the bone / bandaged in green I lay / quiet all summer long / summer sings a song / of its own.
This is an unpublished poem written by Joanna when she was living at Barrys Bay on Banks Peninsula. She moved there with her husband Jeffrey Harris and their daughter, Magdalena, in 1975. The family had previously been staying at Okains Bay. There’s a languid, sensuous feel to the lines. The summer is beautiful, it’s green and musical and encompassing, and yet a feeling of unsettlement arises. The choice of ‘lint’ and ‘bandaged’ suggest damage and there’s a need to rest up, a need for healing. I wonder if Joanna was pregnant at this time; that would make it 1976 and she would be awaiting the birth of her second daughter, Imogen. The baby was born in the Akaroa hospital in late February, but sadly died after surgery for a heart condition in December of the same year. An exquisite white marble headstone, a hemisphere carved by Jeffrey, marks the grave in the Akaroa cemetery. Joanna herself was buried there in 2003.