2013 Rita Summers

Rita Summers
Tasmania, Australia


Three generations of women (three handmade nails);
a hexagon template from my Australian mother-in-law;
the plastic rings I saved from the tops of milk bottles.

The spring from a broken plastic clothes peg;
simple embroidery and crochet stitches taught to me
by my Dutch mother and my American teacher.

Patchwork and quilting – remnants salvaged,
worn-out clothes re-used; every scrap saved;
beauty and warmth born out of poverty and thrift.

Donegal handwoven tweed; three leather buttons;
a broken silver ring (eternity/reality) -
gifts from my Tasmanian-born daughter.

Recycled woollen skirts; an op shop blanket;
my own plant-dyed, rusted wool and silk; blue buttons;
coffee-dyed cotton lace; my Canadian birth.

Symbolism and practicality; the art of making do;
nurture, birth, womanhood – month after month;
the quiet fortitude of women of all ages.

The creative spirit driving us year by year,
not diminished, but enriched by endurance, tears
and busy hands – the guiding hands of the matriarchs.

28 circles (4 x 7)  represent the passage of time and the reproductive cycle.

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