Highfield Wagga, 2002
Highfield Wagga is an artwork I made during an Arts Residency through Arts Tasmania at Highfield House, Stanley, on the North West coast of Tasmania, in 2002.
I combined a collection of antique and somewhat fragile Japanese kimono lining silks and some more robust Australian silk-hemp blend fabric I dyed with walnut husks for a very earthy brown colour. The imagery I made as transfer prints onto silk, some of which have been dyed with tea or seaweed from Godfrey's Beach on the northern side of the spit of land Stanley is perched on. The imagery relates directly to the history of the Highfield site (please follow the link below to see more), and the harsh and isolated environment the few women who lived at Highfield would have experienced, surrounded by an angry indigenous population and a bunch of maltreated convicts. I made this 'Wagga' (a particular style of quilt typical to an area of New South Wales, Australia, which traditionally uses recycled clothing and even feed sacks to create bed furnishings during the early part of the 20th Century when every scrap was precious).
The other stencil prints have been made using Indian Ink and old wool bale stencils I found in an antique shop in Tasmania. The quilting actually depicts the coastline of Stanley's peninsula, taken from a reproduction Colonial map I found in Highfield House, and in the centre is the ceiling rose from Highfield's dining room.
Location: My 'Debutante' exhibition at ConroyMcManus Design Space, Northern Tasmania, November 2006.
This piece has most recently featured in the store display "Into The Lighthouse" by Sibella Court at Anthropologie's Rockefeller Centre space in New York.
To view more images:
Photo: Garry Conroy-Cooper
Collection: www.Anthropologie.com (New York)