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ROSES FROM THE HEART....
I found a very interesting article in the Embroidery Association of Canada spring magazine. It's called "Roses from the Heart" - a Challenge from Australia. I've read it and I was very moved. Christina Henry, a conceptual fibre artist from Tasmania, Australia, have been organizing an exhibition of bonnets to pay tribute to the 25,556 convict women who were deported from the British Isles to Australia in the 19th century.
Christina was, and still is, inviting women throughout the world to add their empathy and creativity in a contemporary art form that will focus attention in hidden issues relating to the worth of women. The 25,266 convict women transported from British Isles to Australia were clothed in a stigma that has proved difficult to dispel. In learning the real facts, through personal interpretation, Christina believes that we will not only unlock the real value of women but will appreciate the value that contemporary women make to society today.
She became interested in these women when she visited the Cascade Female Factory where many of the women were incarcerated after arival in Australia. There was already an overwhelming response from the public as a first exhibition, "900 Bonnets", took place. Following this, a series, "Departures and Arrivals", displaying work from many Australians was produced to speak to the many babies born to these women and the hundreds who died.
The title "Roses from the Heart" was chosen because the rose is symbolic of love and would have brought memories to a lonely woman of her homeland. A depiciton of hearts is also emblematic of love and regard. Many in Australia are descended from these helpless women and have been making bonnets in their honor. Since we, in Canada, do not have convict women in our historical past, we can "adopt" a woman or women for whom we can make a bonnet. Christina can be reached at email@example.com or at PO Box 1020, Sandy Bay, TAS 7006, Australia in order to to request a specific woman or to be assigned one. The lists are available through a link on the web site http://www.femalefactory.com.au
I, myself, made a bonnet in Romanian Point Lace for Eleanor Carter, deported on the Britania which arrived in Australia in July 1798. I will try to post the photo of the bonnet on this page and, if not possible to add it here I will make a separate page with the pictures of the bonnets. Yes, bonnets, because I am working on another bonnet and am going to make 2 more for women and 2 for babies.
Christina is apealing to women around the world to offer to make one or more bonnets in any type of embroidery, lace or stitching. She needs to complete the making of the 25,556 bonnets. She is planning a tour in the USA where the bonnets are going to be first blessed then displayed in several states. She also intends to come to Canada with the exhibition of the bonnets, in 2010.