Heather O'Neill in her rue St-Urbain
apartment, Plateau Mont-Royal,
December 2007

Heather O'Neill lived with her
twelve-year-old daughter in a typical
Plateau apartment with small rooms
branching off a long hallway that leads to
a kitchen. The front room, Heather's
office, held a cheval glass, an iBook with
cycling baby pictures on the screen, and
a drawing of the planet Saturn on a
blackboard. The living room displayed
quirky art, porcelain curios, and a
television whose picture was paused at a
screen promising the first three episodes
of the fourth season of The Wire.
Heather's daughter's room contained an
extraordinary collection of dolls
displayed side by side on a handsome
wooden rack system mounted on the
wall. Heather herself was angled limbs,
lively gestures, constantly shifting
expressions, touches of irony, and very
quick intelligence. Designing a frame
using Heather and her home was almost
too easy, and was accompanied by the
humbling awareness that her talent for
representation was greater than mine.