Monday, 11 July 2011

Map of World Patterns - Coming to Australia

I have just about finished sewing my Map of the World - for now. There are still quite a few safety pins holding islands and continents together and many more stories to discover...

The last place I travelled to was Australia.

I made this huge and unknown (to me) continent from Aboriginal textile designs, designed for the local as well as tourist market (see http://www.tiwidesigns/) as well as blouse given to me by my friend, Hanna who emigrated to Australia in 2009.

I was really inspired by 1950's Textile designer John Rodriquez take on indigenous Aboriginal patterns: I copied the print from his wonderful 1950's boomerang skirt from and also sewed on some convict-type cloth, which I researched these by looking at the archive at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum.

Here's what Hanna has to say about going to live in a small rural community in Australia:
"Over the past few slowly starts to feel more like home and a sense of day to day life is hitting in. I am getting to know people better, although with everyone knowing who we are it's still a bit of an overwhelming feeling when you walk through town or when I drop the kids off at school.

"It's a country community and the good side of this is the way they keep an eye out for each other and there is a good amount of trust still between people.

"And for me as "the doctors wife" - I'm regularly trying to free my mind from that sort of pressure I'm sensing, to be brave enough to surprise people and not fitting into anyone’s box. With almost an absence of diversity they anyway can't box us properly...

"And over time, when I've observed and learned more about this community I'm hoping to find ways to help change things for the better.

"It's quite a journey..."

You can see a piece of Hanna's blue chiffon blouse sewn into the map.

I’ve also sewn on some ‘Kandahar’ fabric in memory of the refugees, mostly from Afghanistan and Iraq, who were also coming to Australia and tried to land on Christmas Island in early 2010 but were drowned.

As for the indigenous population of Australia, I am fascinated to learn that local Aboriginal people, were able to use a dream painting as evidence to reclaim ancestral land: it's wonderful to see patterns on skin, paper, cloth and in dreams persisting with such powerful consequences.

No comments:

Post a Comment