I am one of Australian artists participating in this wonderful project and exhibition. The three handkerchief artworks I contributed are a response to the long-time drought in Australia, and the complete drying up of the massive Lake Burrumbeet which is not far from Ballarat. In making these works, I was thinking about life-giving water, our access to it – in Melbourne where I live, even in the harshest of droughts, we turn on a tap and we have water. The same is not available for all – especially women living in developing countries.
All the handkerchiefs were sent to Afghanistan to a Women’s education centre in Kabul where women are learning literacy and embroidery in order to have skills for life and making a living. Rather than focussing on water, the women who responded with their thoughts and stitching to my works wrote about wanting peace, and for the Americans to leave their country.
The exhibition, beautifully curated by Sharon Plummer with Gali Weiss, gives a life to the works that surpasses what is possible in the accompanying catalogue book, Making Marks. Some float in air, the touch of the maker’s hand is visible, the delicacy of the work is revealed as is the materiality of them. I particularly love how the lighting adds yet another dimension and beauty.
The book Making Marks is available at the exhibition, and also via Gali, the project instigator and artist. email@example.com. It is a beautiful publication, and money raised through the sale of books is going to Afghanistan to further support women’s education.