Chris De Rosa is in a group show opening this weekend at Artroom5 in Adelaide,(well at Henley Beach actually.) These works are quite beautiful and not to be sneezed at !
And I quote....
A pocket-handkerchief to hem--
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!
How many stitches it will take
Before it's done, I fear.
Yet set a stitch and then a stitch,
And stitch and stitch away,
Till stitch by stitch the hem is done--
And after work is play!
At some stage in my past I became aware of a handicraft practised by my auntie (s?) whereby they would add decorative flourishes to already existing hankies as a means of both learning handicrafts (needlework, embroidery etc.) and personalising and adding value to an otherwise impersonal item.
The hankie works were a response to this practice .My printed additions were my own contemporary version of this practice, a means of carrying on the tradition and paying a kind of tribute to those hand crafting practices and the women and girls who pursued them.
The hankie also provided a repeat format with endless varieties of textile surface and embroidered pattern. There is also an element of recycling as the hankies were mainly sourced from second-hand and Op shops. During the printing process, particularly whilst ironing it was impossible to avoid thinking about the histories of these humble items and the sense of becoming part of an ongoing narrative by way of my ‘embroidering’ .