Heather McPherson 1942–2017

by Heather’s niece, Alex McPherson, who ‘hoped to capture a bit of Heather’s #joy and generous spirit’. Oil on canvas 600x500. (At Elam, Alex was taught life drawing by Allie Eagle.)

Heather McPherson, Spiral’s founder and a co-founder of The Women’s Gallery, died in Hamilton this morning, aged 74. Poet, visionary activist, devoted mother and grandmother and beautiful and beloved friend of many, she was still working almost to the end.

Last week, she saw the completed manuscript for her collection this joyous, chaotic place: THE GARDEN POEMS, edited by Janet Charman and heard some of the poems read.

Here’s the poster for Heather’s first collection in 1982, also the first New Zealand collection by an out lesbian.

Heather’s funeral is in Hamilton Monday 6 January 2016, at Seddon Park Funeral Home, 49 Seddon Road, Frankton, Hamilton, at 1.30pm. And then at the Pavilion, Hamilton Gardens. Instead of flowers, donations to Women’s Refuge are welcome.


Recent writing by and about Heather, for this site:

Have You Heard of Artemisia, by Heather, Cushla Parekowhai & Allie Eagle

In the Beginning There Was Heather, by Marian Evans

Spiral, by Heather

The Blue House, by Marian Evans

Travelling With Arapera, by Heather


Anna Keir’s drawing of the first Women’s Gallery collective, from a photograph by Fiona Clark, with Heather third from right between Anna Keir and Bridie Lonie.