Archiver > AUS-CONVICTS > 2008-09 > 1221769293

From: "Kerri Ferguson " <>
Subject: Re: [AUS-CON] Bonnets and Boats exhibition,Parramatta Artists Studios Gallery, 45 Hunter Street, Parramatta
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 06:21:33 +1000
References: <> <000001c918ac$0e841af0$6401a8c0@home><>
In-Reply-To: <>

I Listers,

I had the incredible experience of viewing Christina Henri's exhibition a
Parramatta yesterday and have to say that I as completely overwhelmed.
There is something so awesome about seeing that sea of little bonnets which
represents our forebears that I was unashamedly moved to tears. As you move
along the rows reading the names and the ships and see the out-pouring of
love which is obvious in each bonnet, you cannot help but be deeply moved.
There were some familiar names there too- ones that I can remember coming up
on this site over the years. There is a sense of being able to "touch"
history for a brief moment. If one has been researching for while there is
a strange feeling of recognition too, when you see a name that has appeared
on the pages of books and even on the internet and you find yourself
thinking think "hey, I know you!"

It was beautifully presented and the video presentation which is running at
the same time (quietly away so as not to disturb your viewing of the
bonnets) is very informative and very moving - especially the section about
the children who have come to see the exhibition and the way in which they
become involved. I may sound like an "romantic idealist" but you can "feel"
the love sewn into every stitch.

I understand that one group of women even sewed bonnets for the women who
did not make it out here but who perished on the voyage. This is a real
joint effort by those of us left who understand the need to preserve our

I also had the very great pleasure of meeting Christina and chatting. I was
disgusted and appalled when she told me that she has met a total brick wall
when trying to get the media to take an interest in this exhibition. It
seems she had tried every outlet and TV show possible with no response.

Is it any wonder our feeling of National pride is almost non-existent and
that our children are growing up knowing more about the history of other
countries than they do their own. This made me furious!

I commend this exhibition to you - it is a time to quietly reflect on those
who are responsible for some us even being here!!!! Chistina's quiet
countenance and her tenacity in putting this together deserves more

I understand that she has plans to take it to other regions so everyone can
view it - I believe it may get to the Hunter region next year and she is
trying to get support from people who can help in this endeavour. The
exhibition will travel overseas and back to the UK, before it is permanently
housed here in Australia.

I was left with deep gratitude for my convict beginnings and all those poor
wretched women who made that trip under those unimaginable conditions. But
I was also left with a deep anger at the authorities and the media who seem
more intent on seeing that we understand everyone else's culture whilst
preventing us from appreciating our own.

Come on Listers, get down there to Parramatta if you can (there's lots of
history around the area to enjoy and make a day of it) and PLEASE support
this exhibition and support what this fine lady is doing something almost
single-handedly to make us aware of our history.

Well worth the effort!

By the way, the bonnets are EASY, EASY, EASY to make and there is a pattern
available. If you haven't a convict ancestor ask for a name and a story and
you will be provided with one. Even a poor sewer could knock one out in a
couple of hours. Some of the women don't have any descendants so it might be
great to do something for one of those girls! I believe there are already
over 11,000 bonnets!!!!!!! But Christina was saying that she was not yet

Come on Lister - please let's show pride in our heritage.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of Karen seckold
Sent: Thursday, 18 September 2008 6:02 PM
Subject: Re: [AUS-CON] Bonnets and Boats exhibition, Parramatta Artists
Studios Gallery, 45 Hunter Street, Parramatta

Hello karen,
Did anyone answer you? If not this might help. Christina Henri from
Tasmania, is trying to get a convict Bonnet made for each of the women
convicts sent out. she has lists. You could contact her and see if one
has been made for your convicts.

Karen s
Hoppers Crossing.

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