Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Bonnets and Boats
Christina Henri's exhibition "Bonnets and Boats" opened on Friday night last at Parramatta Artists Studios with about 1000 bonnets on display, and I managed to take a quick photo or 2 of the walls. Here in the 2nd photo is the bonnet Christina commisioned from me for Mary Wade, a young English lass 12 years old when transported to Australia. Mary and an accomplice lured a younger girl into the "privvie" (lavatory or WC to you?) and stripped her of her clothes, including a cap, presumably to sell. The bonnet is exhibited on a fine line strung from the ceiling above a plinth decorated with dried rose petals. The bonnet rotates slowly with the slightest air movement, quite ghostly ! I hope Mary likes the bonnet I made in her honour. The embroidery is in vintage silk thread, and I researched the Victorian Language of Flowers for some suitable symbolic blooms. I chose baby roses for girlhood, daisies for innocence, and Gypsophila or babies breath for future children. The little heart is formed from some narrow fine vintage French lace edging, and is held down with chain stitch (convict chains). A bullion yellow ribbon for rememberance completes the design. Now to duplicate it for the other bonnet to be presented to the VIP whose ancestor is Mary Wade.
I recommend the exhibition to you. Sydneysiders should get along to 45 Hunter Street Parramatta between 12 and 4pm daily to see this fantastic tribute to Australia's convict women, entry is free. You could combine the visit with a trip down Church Street to the Parramatta Heritage and Information Centre for "Women Transported", open 9 to 5 daily !!
I've also been working on another project on my TO DO list which I can't elaborate on because the recipient may read this blog! I'm almost to the point of showing her the current status as a decision needs to be made about the final design in the very near future. As soon as I do that, I'll post the results here. Nothing like a teaser, is there, VBG ???