Wednesday, 25 April 2012

net of tears

A few years ago I was shown an amazing piece of crochet, about a yard long, that depicted an ANZAC soldier standing with head bowed. Hand crocheted it was beautiful and poignant and infinitely melancholy. I think it was the bigger more detailed version of the one below and was probably designed by Mary Card. The Australian War Memorial has some amazing pieces in their collection including the huge bedspread pictured above, I don't know whether that piece was ever meant to be slept under, I think it would have weighed a tonne of sorrow.

I find the mix of lacy crochet and memorialising war to be strange bedfellows and yet some how so perfect.  How many dreams and lives fell through those holes, a net to catch tears in. Filet crochet is as much about the gaps, the negative space, as about the pattern each stitch makes. The lose of a person, of years, of possibility leaves a hole too and the lives led around that hole are effected and the pattern changes.

To me these pieces are like a meditation, of the maker sitting, slowly working, stitch by stitch locking a ghost into a lacework of memories. It is always good to keep the hands busy in both times of grief and joy.


  1. Sigh. It is such a sombre day isn't it? x

  2. .... and folk think that crochet is 'just a craft' I doubt that there are many more meaningful artworks in the War Memorial's collection

    And in a strange twist of fate - this morning in my tiny town the ANZAC address was given by Rebecca Britt.... ex-local gal, now the lady in charge of the War Memorial's special collections - she's the one who snaffles things like these lacy wonders so that all in the land may know our collective histories.....

    there's a lot in those lacy tales....

  3. beautiful words Pen, and beautiful work... They make me think of the women who made them, collective herstories...


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