Deborah's first book Reframing Women: A History of New Zealand Film, evolved out of her PhD thesis, written in Auckland University’s Department of Film, TV and Media Studies. The book was long-listed in the UK Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Awards for leading books published in the fields of photography and the moving image. The interviews with 61 film practitioners including directors, writers, producers, editors, actors, designers, composers and camera people are stored in an oral history collection at the New Zealand Film Archive. Deborah has lectured in The University of Auckland’s Film, TV and Media Studies Department and curated the film section of Wellington City Gallery’s film festival and art exhibition alter/image: feminism and representation in New Zealand art 1973-1993, to celebrate the centenary of women’s suffrage. She has written various entries on women filmmakers for the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography and the Paris Le Dictionnaire Des Creatrices Les Editions Des Femmes and in 2011 contributed to the Retrospective of the work of film director Gaylene Preston at a weekend symposium at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Deborah's catalogue essay, 'A decent sense of outrage: Gaylene Preston Film Director' can be read here.
For twelve months Deborah Shepard kept a journal to help her with a chronic pain condition. Soon she found herself contemplating all of life’s pains and losses, including the devastating earthquakes that shattered her hometown of Christchurch. Searching for a way through, she began observing the natural world on her doorstep and reflecting on family, friendship, flowers, beauty, literature and art. By ‘giving herself to life’ she discovered the power of writing to heal. ‘It’s about learning to live fully in the moment in the midst of all the sufferings we as human beings encounter on a life path.’
Gaylene Preston Retrospective Essay
Click here to read an essay by Deborah Shepard, titled 'A Decent Sense of Outrage'.