Please note that due to the subject matter of this project (death/grief) some of the images on this blog might be disturbing.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sandra Winkworth Hankie Works

My grandma was the only grandparent I knew and I was her favourite. Her whole home was covered with gardens and now I collect floral printed imagery everywhere
My mother died 20 years ago. The memories fade – I try to remember many things about her but a lot is gone.
A collection of my father’s objects is held together here on a hanky.
Each fragment holds an object: plants in the garden, work tools I use, the house I live in and the bird that sings.
These objects are what remains and now I hold onto them as I hold onto the memories.
I grieve and the stitches, a meditative process, help to hold these memories together.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Artwork by Melbourne based artist Peter Lyssiotis

The trick is to know who to imitate. Me? Well, I'm in my garden every Sunday imitating Brando. I'm strictly vegetables. Ok there ARE a couple of trees: a lemon, an apple and two figs (I'm very proud of my fig trees. One is called Lorca because it comes from Andalusian stock & the other The Sicilian because its roots are in Southern italy. In 'the Godfather' Brando dies while playing chasey with his grandchildren, round and round his tomato plants. He has a hankerchief around his neck, which he uses to pat down his sweat. And there's the rub; in summer among my Romas, Krims, Mortgage lifters, Tommy Toes, Tigerellas & Black Russians I'm always Brando, mopping the swaet from around my neck, my arms, my see hankerchiefs are not only for waving goodbye!

Hankie artwork by Sue Fraser

While working on this project I was reminded of the many things my father meant to me and the strength of the memories embedded in the few objects he left behind.

Jenny Kitchener Hankerchief

I was with my mother when she died. I sat by her side and very gradually she stopped breathing.

Hankie Artwork by UK artist Natalie McGrorty

I have made this handkerchief in memory of my lovely Mother who died very young. Whilst the grey, cloudy skies echo the underlying sadness that I have felt since she left this world, the gentle beauty of the imagery is peaceful and serene, just as she was when she died. The addition of the single magpie was inspired by the rhyme: 'One for sorrow, two for joy...'

Thursday, March 25, 2010

thoughts on the death of my father........ Virginia Barratt

it's very hard to give a name to or recognise what it is i am feeling about his absence. i just know that death is a hard thing to *know*. a concept i can't hold onto at all in my mind, not like denial, just... slippery, elusive... i know he's not here, but that's all i know, even after seeing him in the mortuary. i think it's because the institutionalised nature of death would have you believe that he's "at peace" or just sleeping or something. you can't get near to the death part cos there's so many layers of convention and regulation and institutionalisation between me and my dead dad. the ravages of death and the indignities of autopsy are all hidden by the white sheet of invisibility. the no-death of death. the "he's at peace" from the social worker guy at the mortuary. he was never peaceful in life and i don't think i ever saw my dad asleep! so the sleeping peace of death is a funny strange lie to my eyes... this morning i feel sad, but i don't even know if it's grief, just tiredness and wondering how i'm gonna pay the bills...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lorna Jewitt Hankie

The artist wrote these words about the work ' it is about giving in to grief - rather than keeping a 'stiff upper lip'.It refers to a symbolic white flag of surrender, embroidered in red thread which has so many meanings associated with safe keeping. It is also a reference to the idea of waving goodbye to someone setting out on a journey. Something that an older generation did more frequently than we see now perhaps, but still a poignant image.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heather Matthews Hankie artwork 'Hexagons of Grief"


my grandmother stitched a quilt of tears

while grandfather lay dying

pale flowering hexagons of grief

barely pieced together

my grandfather the dashing soldier

was mentioned in dispatches

his long legs became thin as stamens

beneath a crimson dressing gown

his bayonet on top of the curtain pelmet

he never marched on Anzac Day.

Heather Matthews

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Louise Fulton Hankie Artwork

If you get hayfever, you need a man's hankie. Like a good book, it has multiple leaves that fold back and give comfort to a suffering wet nose. As a child, I remember ironing all the family hankerchiefs. There were always dozens in the pile because we all suffered from hayfever. After coming off the Hills Hoist and out of the blistering Adelaide sun, they had to be first misted with water. Only then would the wrinkles iron out into the silky, smooth receptacle that we always carried in our pockets.

As a teenager, I graduated to men's hankies, they always seemed more practical. My father and grandfather were both carpenters. I remember playing in the sawdust on Grampa's workshop floor and the interior of his coffin, padded with black cloth. I have added a spirit level to the art piece in remembrance of them both.