In August-September 2016, Lois Conner, the New York-based photographer whose work is featured in this site, spent a week in the Wairarapa Valley. She stayed at le Quartier Français on the corner of Revans and Waite streets in Featherston, the gateway town to the valley situated at the foot of the Rimutaka Range northeast of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
The Valley has five major towns — Featherston, Martinborough, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton — and Lois visited them all to make work, as well as travelling around the valley and visiting Napier on the north-east coast with Geremie Barmé as part of early efforts to picture The Wairarapa Academy for New Sinology.
A selection of the works Lois made in the Valley appear below. We are, as ever, grateful to her for her generosity and support from the earliest days of the China Heritage Project in 2005, and which continues now.
Lois Conner’s trip to the Wairarapa was partially funded by Geremie Barmé’s Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship, ‘Beijing Spectacle’.
Megan J. Campbell, a Wairarapa-based artist who used to live at le Quartier Français, warmly supported Lois Conner’s work in the Valley and she has kindly allowed us to reproduce photographs that Lois made using some details of her paintings. Megan happens to be the sister of Duncan M. Campbell, whose essays and translations will appear frequently in these virtual pages. Duncan is also one of the founding members of The Wairarapa Academy (see the photograph of three of the founders below). — The Editor