Last week when we visited Killerton House there was a display of bonnets. The display was titled "Roses from the Heart" and was inspired by the Australian conceptual artist, Christina Henri. Each bonnet embroidered with the name of a convict who had been transported to Australia.
The exhibition has been contributed to from across the world. The exhibition left Australia during August 2010 and is currently being shown across the UK, before heading to London and then onwards to Australia. I hope to try and catch up with the complete exhibition next year when I am in Australia.
In the meantime, HERE is the website, which is inspirational. You can even download the Patten and send an authorisation form to submit your contribution to the exhibition. Here is a further blog about the bonnets
I say inspirational because each bonnet represents a woman who was transported to a Country thousands of miles from home. There was no easy means of communication. Unless you could write and could get a letter on a ship back to England, and that someone could be trusted to then forward the letter on, once you left the shores of England it was forever. Some did make it back to England, but only the minority. Forever, is such an emotive word. Think about never seeing a loved one again. Sent on a ship to where? It sends a chill down the spine doesn't it?
The reason for the transportation is to some degree irrelevant. It was to the women involved, just as bad as being confined to the dreadful prisons of the 19th Century, or the noose. These women, and of course the male convicts, were instrumental in making a nation. I somehow doubt, that the politicians of the time had any idea just what Australia would become. To me, it is paradise!