Suzanne Holman, go in peace

Esther BeatonOn the Beaton Track

The artist, Suzanne Holman, at work on one of her first major artworks, the mural at the children’s pool at Bondi Beach. I just had to write something to acknowledge this lovely, talented and community-spirited artist. She never stopped created murals and art installations along the whole eastern coastline.

What a beautiful woman! Had I known at the time of taking her portrait that our lives might intersect again. I heard this morning that she was one of the two people who died in a microlight crash a few days ago. They were flying over Tuggerah Lake on a joy flight. It turns out Suzanne was living in Avoca Beach, just a few kilometres from me. If I’d known, I probably would have looked her up, found out what other projects she was working on, maybe photographed her again.

I ran into Suzanne when I first moved to Bondi Beach myself – must have been around 1986. I was fascinated with the mural she was creating and I proposed a feature  to Good Weekend magazine. I got my good mate, David Hancock, to write the article. It was published with a photo similar to this one across a big double page spread. Too bad I no longer have that tearsheet but at least I still have a photo.

Well done, Suzanne.

What about you? Have you ever had the experience of having photographed someone who later died? How do you feel, knowing you have a precious recording of that person’s life? Does it give you a deeper connection, or make you feel like a keeper of their soul?