Dimity Figner, feminist, artist and generally lovely person died on Thursday in a nursing home in Nowra. She had been sick for some time, and some of her many friends were with her at the end.
There was a retrospective exhibition of Dimity’s art in Nowra earlier this year, and she was active in the Older Women’s Network until recently (at that link is a photo of Dimity and 13 other rambunctious older women celebrating the publication of a history of Nowra OWN). In the 1970s she designed a beautiful Women’s Liberation symbol that has been widely used on badges and publications in Australia. She briefly illustrated for The School Magazine in the early 1980s. Back when I used to run into her regularly I could count on her to say she liked my hair just about a day before my official grooming consultant told me it was time to visit the barber.
One of our most cherished art acquisitions is this wonderful little bust, her creation:
Many people will miss Dimity. I’m one of them.
Added on 6 May: I don’t think many people will be aware of Dimity’s work with The School Magazine. Here’s a scan we managed to get of a 1981 cover by her (difficult if not impossible to get a perfect scan, as the bound volumes don’t flatten out without damage):
Lovely tribute Jonathan, and I do like you little bust. I’d treasure it too. I love your story about her and your hair. I’m hoping that she lived to a good age and that, though sad, this death was one of a woman who’d lived a long and meaningful life?
Thanks, Sue. Sadly, Dimity died at what I now think of as youngish – in her mid 70s. She’d certainly had a long and meaningful life, but not long enough.
Yes, I’d say mid-70s is too young too – and not just by the measure of my own rapidly increasing age!
i have a piece of her artwork too. It is a lovely recycled wood sculpture. She gave it to me before she moved to Nowra. She remains in my heart and mind.
There must be many of us, Sharyn
Í have been a long time friend of Dimity, but have been living in Spain for a number of years and I last saw her in November 2010 when I was visiting Australia and stood at her place for three most beautiful days. It was a precious opportunity to share, talk and remember old friends, talk on how we felt about our particular ages ( I was 61 and Dimity in her 70s). Dimity showed me the art she was doing and gave me as a present for the cold Europea wintes, she said, a precious Bolivian poncho that I still keep, and now I always will. As I had been unable to contact her, either by post or email for a long time, I asked a friend, who had met Dimity once and who lives in Dulwich Hill, to please knock at her door to find out if Dimity was still there, and this was what our friend did. Today we received the sad news. We would like to give our condolences to her two daughters; Kate and Sophia but the only thing we know is that Kate lives in The South Coasts with her family and Sophia somewhere in the north of NSW. If any one know how to contact them we would be very greatful? We are Pedro and Silvia.
Hi Pedro. I have replied by email – Jonathan