Justine & Leela – Age 43 & 9

Justine & Leela

Age  43 & 9

Who are you?

Well, I’m all sorts really, a bit of this and a bit of that.

Seamstress runs in my blood. Generations of stitching pieces of fabric together to make fine clothes for fine ladies.

Cue my love of textiles.

Who am I?

I’m the daughter of an engineer although I’m not really technical

Mostly I’m quite private.

I’m not really sure about showing you who I am. So mostly I have to cover up and hide.

If I show you the real me, what will you do with me?

I love being a mum and hanging out with my daughter. Being a parent means you get to join in with fun stuff, like playing computer games and climbing trees. This photo was taken in a forest near to where we live. My daughter and I have been coming here all her life, for adventures, birthday parties, Easter egg hunts and tree climbing.

Roundhay Park

My aunt traced our family tree back and discovered that we came from a long line of seamstresses. I like the idea of researching the female line rather than the male line. I have always had a love of textiles and needlecrafts and I wonder if it’s something in the blood.

For this photo I chose a red dress I made myself from Thai silk, a woolen winter kimono I bought in Japan and a length of Rajasthani fabric I bought in Ahmadabad, one of India’s most important textile cities. What I’m wearing references my love of textiles and travel as well as my seamstress ancestors.

Why did I jump in the lake? I often get the feeling of wanting to do something impulsive such as jumping into a lake fully clothed. Mostly I talk myself out of it but this time I just took the plunge. It was February and extremely cold but hugely invigorating. Sometimes you just have to be brave and take a leap!

Drill and bars

My father is an engineer and I always like to think (I may be wrong) that I have a practical side. I like being able to do things that girls aren’t usually  ‘supposed to do’, such as DIY. Ashley had asked me to bring my drill along to the photo shoot as he had a mirror to hang on the wall. It just became a part of the shoot which made me laugh.

During the shoot the shadows from the blinds began to look like prison bars. We began to have a discussion about how you can be trapped by things in life. I’m sometimes trapped by being self conscious which means I don’t always dare do things or wear things that I’d like to. I feel safer dressed head to toe in dark colours and have to force myself to wear the bright colours or the daring designs I love.