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

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Installed work at barratt galleries

Media Release from the opening at barratt galleries 18th June


Contact: Julie Barratt.
Mailing Address: 5 Bugden Ave
Alstonville NSW 2478 Australia
Phone: 02 66280297

By Vaughn Pinxit, opening night MC.

On Friday the 18th June the Hanky Project was opened by Kaley Morrisey from Arts Northern Rivers. Dr Andrew Binns officially acknowledged the local indigenous community and discussed grief and the importance of grieving. Poetry readings were given by Dr Moya Costello, Angela Gardner and Virginia Barratt.

Julie has currently, this year, completed her first semester of the visual arts Honours Degree at SCU. I myself am a fellow Honours student with Julie, and looking back in retrospect am amazed at Julie’s handling of her workload – running the gallery, completing Honours work and assignments, concurrently coordinating the Hanky Project and as well as being a mother to 3 musical bachelors.

I would like to briefly share, ‘my’ interpretation and critique of this unique collaborative art project.

‘From the flames the phoenix shall rise’.
And so it is within the foundation of this myth that Julie has undertaken this metaphor to create the collaborative art Hanky Project. This project is borne out of the sudden passing of the Barratt family’s father, Gordon Barratt, late in 2009. The Hanky became an object of Julie’s observation and a sign of her fathers commitment to accessorise his personal wardrobe and keep a Hanky with him at all times. Hence the use of the Hanky as a sign, medium, material, object, metaphor and ultimately an art piece, which was the initial criteria for the artists involved in the project.
The second criteria forming this project, was the exploration of grief associated with the passing of relatives, family and friends. Around us – we have the outcomes of artists research and explorations, personal narratives, acknowledgements of respects, outpourings of emotions and heartfelt love for our dearly departed. Never have I seen, such sensitively inspired art-works in one exhibition. Diversity of skills include embroidery, printmaking, sculpture, altered form, to name a few. This exhibition, being a non-commercial show and represented as such during the call for works, has delivered a standard that is overwhelming.

The art-works totalling over 150, have arrived from the local area, across the State and Australia, New Zealand, Canada, England and Asia. Technology has played a part in this project by way of an online Blog,
The Blog seemed to self generate a momentum that was unpredicted by Julie and hence the result of the Trans-Global participation of artists works.

The gold coin entry donations, orders for catalogue on CD’s, Jo Crockford Hanky’s and a future hard-copy printed catalogue book will fund touring of this exhibition to Regional Galleries.

The Hankie project - Barratt Galleries

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hankie project opens today

Well the opening day is here. The works are all hung, I will post some photos tomorrow.I will go in to the gallery now and clean and then figure out how to display 150 artist statements ??? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to all the artists for your participation in this wonderful display of grief and loss. Love Juliexxx

Julie Barratt - Too Late

Unique artist book

Julie Barratt - In Deepest Sympathy

A Hankie book constructed of hankies filled with all the letters my mother received on my fathers death.

Taycee-Lea Jones - The Week of Downfall

Limited edition artist book

It was the year of my HSC.
A mate and I began a project where we aimed to film 'a week in the life of the HSC'.
On the morning we were due to start filming I received a phone call that my granddad had died. I decided to continue filming as planned.
We filmed the lead-up to the funeral and after. After the funeral my brother and I were both given a set of hankies that belonged to my granddad.
They had his initials embroidered onto them.
When I dug them out of the cupboard recently I began to discuss with my brother all the things I remembered about granddad. He turned to me and said he remembered nothing but buying striped pants for the funeral and getting some hankies afterwards.
It seems that the hankies and the fragments of this film are all that remains of that time and all that exists as proof that one life affected another.
I could not bring myself to alter the hankies so I created this book as a record.
Not of a life, but as a document of how people respond to grief.
During filming I found it very hard to separate our intended project from everything else I was experiencing and feeling, so we filmed it all.

Here I present moments from the film; caught at random, distorted and reflected

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Joanna Kambourian - What I am I owe to those who went before

Silkscreen print on Grandma Lucy’s Hanky.

This hanky is from my grandmother’s apartment in nyc, in fact I think it is perhaps a cloth serviette?
Nonetheless, it is a domestic memento of my family and a reminder of my father and his mother who mourns him amidst bouts of dementia and senility at 98 years old.
The pattern is her wallpaper, which up to a year ago graced the walls of her apartment for close to 60 years and was the background to their lives.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Louise Weinberg

"This is a photograph of my father, Sam, holding me when I am 2. He died in 1990, too young at 71. His untimely passing has influenced all of my work since then. There are so many questions I have to ask him still. His love is in me."

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Grand Opening of The Hankie Project - Barratt Galleries 18th June at 6pm

Its June and the long awaited Hankie Project exhibition is opening at barratt galleries on the 18th at 6pm.

Six months ago I invited artists to submit a work on a handkerchief that responded in some way to death and grief. With over 100 works submitted from some 12 countries this exhibition has brought together an amazing array of work and collected stories.

You might need to bring a hankie! (or at least a tissue).

In the words of local participating artist Katka Adams "Grief can often be a very private lonely place, but by inviting every one in to share their stories and experiences by creating art work together, you have created a healing community.I have often felt that our culture and society is now missing a process or way of dealing with our grief. Every one is sort of left to do what ever they feel is right for them, but this can be confusing and difficult. Other cultures have strong traditions and customs which people follow and they feel they have dealt with the death of a loved one honourably and in the right way".

The image on the cover was submitted by the youngest participant - 4 year old Olli Shearman.

When: Opening Fri, 18th June at 6pm - Poetry and performance

Time: Gallery hours Wed to Sun 11am till 4pm

Cost: Gold coin donation

More Info: Call the gallery on (02) 6628 0297

This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Gordon Roger Milner Barratt. Love you dad.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gary Jolly

Heather Matthew - Wrappings


inside the drawers of my childhood

everything was wrapped, even hankies

four squared folded and pressed

into embroidered envelopes

scented with soap and lavender

my first stitches were chains of colour

looping names onto hanky corners

my mother blanket stitched all things frayed

I wrap memories in cloth and paper

© 2010 Heather Matthew

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Darren Bryant - The hanky Box Project

The Hanky Project

Artist Statement

I am fortunate to have one my grandma’s hanky boxes. During the 2nd world war, she started making numerous small boxes from magazine paper and plastic film. Lovingly stitched and shaped together, the magazine paper had images of places and pattern of that period. The plastic film covering, which I think came from old x-rays gave the box strength and stability. Today, everyone in my immediate family have one of grandma’s hanky boxes.

The white hanky in this project is one of my grandma’s. I have screenprinted an image from the box of a model plane she and my grandfather gave me one Christmas as a child. I have made a box by folding one of my own linocut prints, paying homage to her box making craft.

One of my last memories of her, before she passed away, is her holding a white hanky.

Medium: screenprint on cotton hanky, linoblock on paper with paper clips.

Meredith Crowe - Sleep/Wake

Medium: Digital Video Projection onto Handkerchief

Because I had just dreamt of you, when I first woke I couldn’t place the grief.

Robyn Sweaney - Words Unsaid

For my father

Fiona Sykes

when i heard that my dad had died the only word i could utter was:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Virginia Barratt - dna artist's tears

fowler’s vacola preserving jar no. 31

my mum had an amazing garden when I was a child.

rhubarb, lots of rhubarb.

things preserved in fowler’s jars.

my dad had cows.


mum made butter from the cream.

i have a garden that aspires

i get up and milk my jersey cow at 6am every morning.

dad comes with me, and I make small talk.

about cows. there is a pleasure in this.

sometimes tears fall into the shiny shiny bucket filled with whiteness.

i have a fowler’s vacola.

I am living my parent’s life.

the jar is a symbol of the preservation of a lifestyle they gifted to me.




dna sealed away.

tears emanate from a places of mystery
and rain all over the garden of my life.

this piece is dedicated to my parents.
my father’s life, my mother’s sight. my mother’s light

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Rhonda Fechtner

"This beautifully made hanky from WW1 has an unknown life.Possibly bought by a soldier to send to his mother or girlfriend.Did he return home? Imagining stories related to this handkerchief I chose to depict imagery that represented the futility,hardships and grief particularly associated with that war."

Anna Dorrington

I want my hankie to tell a story. It is the viewer's story that it
> tells. It is created so that the hankie can be taken out filled with their story and then be put away again. The gold signifies that it is a treasure to the person that holds this little trinket dear to their heart.

Frances Belle-Parker - RIP

I lost two very important people in my life within six months of each other. They were my Nan who passed away at 80 years in December 2005 and in May 2006 my Father, who was only 57. Nan’s death shocked me the most; it was sudden and unexpected. My Father, was diagnosed with cancer 11 months prior to his death. We got to spend the last 3 months of his life by his side. He passed away early one morning surrounded by all his girls.

This work, made from second hand hankies plays homage to the true characters they both were. Dad was very masculine and serious, Nan was extremely gentle but also very strong. They were completely opposite but the one thing they had in common was their wisdom and the place they got to call home, Yaegl country.

I was very blessed to be close to both of them throughout my life. I will never forget them and the traits they have instilled in me.

May you Rest In Peace my Nanny Randall and my Dad.

Julie de Lorenzo

Karen was three months older than me, my favourite and closest ‘crazy cuz’.
We lived over an hour away from each other so school holidays were set aside for a visit for a couple of weeks. One time at her place, the next at mine - always mischief and trouble together. She made me laugh like no-one else could. Her laugh was indescribable and it was so uniquely hers.
As kids we spent hours together drawing pictures, making cubby houses, exploring the creek and abandoned houses, making recordings of jokes, songs, anything on my new cassette recorder, watching movies. One time at her place, my Aunty drove us to the shops to stock up on chocolates and lollies, so we could eat them while we watched one of our favourite movies ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’.
We wrote letters to each other between holidays and when one of hers arrived, her writing and little drawings were instantly recognizable.
At the end of 1985, we made a plan to travel around Australia. We couldn’t wait to turn eighteen, get our drivers license and be free.
The morning after the night of 10th April 1986, my brother came into my room with my mother and said, “Jule, I’ve got some bad news….Karen Ongarello was killed in a car accident last night”.
I remember too well the shock and finality of those words.
She was one of four passengers in a car, the drunk driver - the only survivor. She would have turned eighteen on 8th August.
I miss her like crazy sometimes, and can’t help wondering what she’d be doing now…my Crazy Cuz.

Christine Willcocks

The image at the bottom is my father, Uncle and Grandfather ( all who have past away ) this packet of 3 hankies, was not unlike all those packets that were given to these men as gifts, sometimes they would be kept in drawers for years never open. One of these packets was given to me on my fathers death along with other items.
Oh the imagination or lack of it, I wonder what children give their dad these days.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Scott Trevelyan - Live hard, Ride fast, Die Free

Many of my friends and I share the passion of motorcycle riding and it’s colourful culture. Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve lost a few good mates to motorcycle crashes. Even have my own experience of staring ‘the grim reaper’ in the face on one occasion. But thanks to my brother’s resuscitation efforts, I live to ride on.