Friday, July 21, 2006



When I woke up this morning the ground was frosty white- we even had ice on puddles- which I don't ever remember seeing before in the nine years we have lived in Gellibrand. Then the day turned brilliantly sunny and as I have been holed up inside since getting back it was great to be able to sit out in the sun and do something... but what to do.???I have been working and playing with the lace again- I want to make more pieces but I also want to make pieces with other things than the tulle I have been using- so that it is the idea of lace- the whole transparency thing that is important. So this one is a bit of an experiment- I need to work on it more but I really like the seethroughness ( is there such a word)

And before the sun came out I was trawling around the internet , as you do , and came upon a site about Bonegilla. Bonegilla was the migrant reception centre for non-english speaking migrants who came to Australia in the post war years. My family spent two and a half weeks there- my father got the first job he could to get out of there,and so we moved to a station ( big farm- like about 30,000 hectares) 18 miles outside of Jerilderie. Bonegilla wasn't the most wonderful time for us- we had come from a reasonably comfortable life to be sent to army barracks converted into huts for families and dorms for single people surrounded by high wire fences with barbed wire on top- with a canteen that served food which to most migrants seemed unapalatable ( I seem to remember there was a riot about the food some years after we left) However there are really nice memories about the experience as well- the warbling of magpies the first morning we woke in Bonegilla ( we had arrived after dark in August)- it was the most magical sound and still thrills me, the lovely wooded hillsides that surrounded Bonegilla that seemed so rich ( we came from a flat flat land). Anyway Albury Museum has a section devoted to Bonegilla- a good thing - at least it is a record of what people experienced- the good and the bad and there is a healthy lore alive surrounding Bonegilla. Anyway I tried to fill inthe form about my presence in Bonegilla and it would not send, so I emailed the contact addie and mentioned in passing my lace work relating to the experience. Imagine my delight when within two hours I had an asnwering email asking me if I would be interested in exhibting my lace later next year as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of Bonegilla and the migrant experience. I hope it happens- this is entirely what my lace work was about and was the story I was trying to tell.

4 comments:

Karoda said...

The sychronicity of this makes me smile and my eyes water just a bit :)

The Wittering Rainbow said...

I've always loved and been intrigued by the idea of something being defined by the spaces around it ie ...by what isn't there rather than what is, and I think your lace does this on rather a large scale!

Claire said...

Hi Dijanne, What a great opportunity to exhibit your work at their 60 anniversary.

We had weird and glorious weather here yesterdayt too. Foggy 'til 10:30 then beautiful for the rest of the day. We spent most of the day tidying the garden.

Cheers
Claire

cfent said...

omigod that gives me goose bumps..
that is awesome dijanne. talk abtou coming full circle!