The Linen Memorial
Canada Council for the Arts

Wollongong 2005

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2002 & 2005 Wollongong, Australia

Linen Memorial

Each time it is unveiled, the linen handkerchief memorial becomes a slightly different, site-specific or site-contextual 'counter-monument.'

In February 2005, the memorial was exhibited 'as a quilt' in the Faculty Gallery, University of Wollongong. A visitor entered and exited the memorial space through a dimly lit passage. This walk slows down the 'passage of time' for the viewer. For some visitors, it can be 'terrifying' to enter 'a space dedicated to those who have been killed traumatically'. A braided textile rope acted as a handrail link).

The space was silent and the memorial was installed in two parts:1) embroidered handkerchiefs: as a drapery-wall (back-lit) and 2) printed hankies were spread-out horizontally in a checker-board.
Over one hundred handkerchiefs were embroidered in 2005.

The sacred space was very quiet, except for a small-scale new-media data projection (a contemporary art element) which represented ‘breathing’ both visually and with sound.

A more personal installation, entitled ‘Mending’, accompanied the larger linen memorial.