Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

On Sunday I ventured out with friends to an exhibition about Titanic held at the Museum and found my weekly splash of red in a number of huge woven tapestries at the Museum.

These were amazing … and there were so many of them.

I decided to do a little research and it turns out that tapestries are in celebration of federation … when the various Australian states and territories merged in 1901. There were ten tapestries in total, woven by 24 weavers between June 2000 and November 2001.

Here's a taste of a few of them:

The tapestry We All Live in Australia was a favourite of mine. This was designed by Murray Walker, who incorporated drawings by Aboriginal children from primary schools in Echuca, Cape Barren Island and Bathurst.

In essence they plead with us to take care of one another, and to look after all parts of the environment. Worth acting on ... I think.

One of the tapestries … this one with the number 1901 at the top was a giveaway federation had something to do with it. This one’s so soft and subtle … with touches of red and orange to draw the eye in.

The seventh tapestry celebrates the important role of Australia's artists in the Federation process. It celebrates ways Australians in the last two decades of the 19th century used literature and art to create and express a unique national identity.

And this beautiful red flower of course forms part of the mural ... please don't ask me what kind. I can't name trees ... let alone flowers.

This is a close up from the sixth tapestry which celebrates Home Sweet Home. The panel concentrates on the importances of the family home, and its important to many Australians who dream of owning their own home with a garden on a large block of land.

The next panel is quite different ... a summary of the themes underlying the whole suite. It presents an historical process from before the arrival of European settlement, through various voyages of discovery to the first white settlement of Australia.

The images are all part of our history, including the picture of Bungaree, an early Aboriginal from Sydney during the very earliest settlement of Australia.

This panel forms part of the tapestry focussing on Alone in the Bush. It depicts the loneliness and isolation many Europeans felt. The shepherd newcomer, his dog and sheep are shown with other animals including a kangaroo, now under the control of the British crown.

And last, but not least ... the Celebrations 2001 tapestry celebrating the 100th anniversary of Federation. A fitting close to this post and the week's red theme.

I hope you enjoyed this little look at Australia's history ... but this is just a peak at the many types and shades of red around the world, so visit Mary at Work of the Poet. There's much more to enjoy.


Magical Mystical Teacher said...

weaving us together
on this earth

Tiny Red Chapel

beck said...

I was thrilled to see your post of the Federation tapestries because for me they are not only amazing but also a family affair. My dad is Murray Walker, who designed the tapestries and my mum was the Director of the Tapestry Workshop at the time. They can both be seen on the film that plays alongside the tapestries. My daughter Charlotte also drew one of the houses that was woven, but I can never remember which tapestry it is in! Glad you enjoyed them so much and found some colour too. Incidentally my mum's favourite colour is red, she wears it every day! xo

Susan L (lily40au) said...

Beck ... I think I found the one drawn by your daughter. It's in Tapestry 6 devoted to Home Sweet Home ... click on photo 6 and you'll see your daughter's name (Charlotte Walker) on either side of the red door of the house. That is so freaking amazing ... I totally enjoyed these tapestries and to learn about their history and links. That is the bomb. Please pass on my gratitude, thanks and admiration for the wonderful work your parents have done ... and for all the red. I wear it every day too!

Spadoman said...

Not only are the tapestries wonderful works of art in their own right, but the words, written by the children, offer hope in a somethimes wicked world.
Wonderful Ruby post.


reg said...

Firstly, thank-you for visiting my site to-day. I am glad I inspired you. These murals are beautiful and each is so unique to all the others. I can only guess how much work went to each and every one of these

Ralph said...

I like the red fish, this tapestry so whimsical and fun to look at.

The historical growing of OZ are tales woven into the tapestries. Interesting the dress of the day looks like the English influence in America before its growth into a new country. I am taken by Bungaree, as the original inhabitants so often are neglected in the historical retellings, and he looks great in the red uniform.

The woven art is so unique!

Manang Kim said...

These are awesome tapestry. It defies what the artist wanted to say. Happy Tuesday!
A Chevrolet red pick up

Anne said...

followed you here...

hope you can follow me back...



ilanadavita said...

What a lovely series. they are qite different but beautiful.

Felisol said...

I took some some to see and digest all the fine art and the history going with it.

I so well remember the TV series "Against the wind" from 1979.
Also a moving piece of Australian history.
I hope some day theywill rerun that one.

EG Wow said...

The stitchery is amazing! And a LOT of work! I didn't know the date Australia merged was 1901!