May 20, 2013

Rosemary McLeod at AWRF 2013: "The Secret Life of Aprons"

Georgia from Sir George Grey Special Collections at Central City Library reports on Rosemary McLeod's talk for the Weekend Gallery series.

Not long after I bought an old crochet blanket from a junk shop in Dargaville, I read Rosemary McLeod's first book about women's needlework called Thrift and fantasy. There I saw a picture of my blanket and felt immediately justified in my desire to rescue it! One of the pleasures of the book, and of its successor, the newly published With bold needle and thread : adventures in vintage needlecraft,  is the way Rosemary McLeod pays tribute to the ordinary women, including her mother and other family members, who made decorative items out of ordinary objects in the period before women joined the workforce.

Her talk "The secret life of aprons" focussed on the aprons from her extensive textile collection. She showed us pictures of aprons, all decorated with imagery which revealed the domestic lives of women from the 1920s to the 1960s. Some of the themes she covered were "wishing and hoping", "getting him", "keeping him interested", and "beyond the cottage door". These themes were approached with wit and humour, as you would expect from a columnist and cartoonist with an eye for social absurdities, but behind the laughter was a large fund of affectionate respect for the women, their lives and their creative work. As she said, people used to be embarrassed by these objects, seeing them as signs of women's repression, but now she wants us to celebrate them and their makers.

Many of the projects she stitched for With bold needle and thread: adventures in vintage needlecraft  are on show at Objectspace in Ponsonby Road until June 8th. They are well worth a visit!

-- Georgia Prince

Ditulis Oleh : Karen Craig // 12:56


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