Kathleen O’Connor of Paris
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Part travel narrative and part biography, this stunning book resurrects the famous daughter of a famous father as an artist, iconoclast and visionary in her own right. When Kathleen O’Connor left Perth for Paris in 1906, she had little support, money or understanding from family of her desire to live and paint in Paris. Her father, C.Y. O’Connor, had recently committed suicide caused possibly by overwork and depression over financial worries. Kathleen O’Connor’s career as an artist in Paris lasted more than forty years, punctuated by two visits back to Perth, where she eventually died in August 1968. This is a brilliantly researched book with beautiful illustrations and footnotes. It is also quiet, restrained, philosophical and reflexive. It asks questions of us as readers, voyeurs and consumers.