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Is the first Memorial to all women sentenced to transportation as convicts to Australia (1788-1853). 25,566 cloth bonnets (taken from an 1860s servants bonnet) symbolises the women whose lives have been shrouded by a veil of amnesia for far too long.

twitter.com/cjhenri:

    Christina Henri met with Ann Ricketts yesterday and was presented with a beautiful bonnet tribute made in memory of Ann Levy to be part of the Roses from the Heart Memorial. Ann Levy is the great, great grandmother of Ann’s husband Chris.

    Ann Levy has Irish connections as she was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland. Her trade was ‘housemaid’. She married Thomas Dunlevy and they were living in Manchester when Thomas died accidently in May 1843 leaving Ann, a widow with two young children. Ann was tried in December in 1843 in Manchester. She left Woolwich England on the convict ship Angelina with her two children in April 1844 and arrived in Hobart town, Van Diemen’s Land in August 1844 . A few days after arriving her children were placed in the St Johns Orphan School. It is hard to imagine how Ann would have felt being forcibly separated from her two children who had accompanied her to this land so far from home. No doubt Ann would have expected that at the very least she would have her two children with her but she was wrong.

    It must have been very strange for Ann to eventually find herself working at the Orphan School in New Town where she was eventually granted permission to marry John Hill. Aged 32 Ann married John Hill at St Georges Church, Battery Point on 11 September 1848. St Georges Church remains - the church spire still dominates the Battery Point skyline today.

    On the 20 July 1850 Ann’s son Thomas was discharged form the Queens Orphan School into her care. On the 28 April 1852 Ann’s daughter Margaret was discharged from the same institution (Queens Orphanage) into Ann’s care. One can only wonder if the scars of the Orphan School experience ever healed.

    What we know about Ann’s life is that she was the mother of six children. Three children married and descendants of these children live on today and contribute to the Australian community.

    In making the bonnet tribute Ann Ricketts included the names of the two children who travelled to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) with Ann in memory of their lives.

    The stitching Ann used on the bonnet tribute for Ann Levy are as follows:

    Rose Bullion Stitch: This stitching is used on the three roses above Ann Levy’s name, a rose each for Ann and her two young children Margaret and Thomas.

    Stem Stitch: This stitch is used for the outline of the rose stems and leaves and for the name of the convict ship the Angelina and the date 1844. Stem stitch was used to highlight, using green thread, the shamrock pattern on the lace to represent Ireland, Ann’s homeland.

    Chain Stitch: This stitch was used for the names of Ann Levy and her two children Margaret (aged 6) and Thomas (aged 2).

    French Knots: This stitch was used to create the forget-me-nots on the back of the bonnet around the children’s names.

    Back Stitch: This stitch was used in the hand sewing together of the bonnet and to attach the lace ribbons.

    Herringbone Stitch: This stitching was used to hem the turned under edges of the bonnet.

    Open Buttonhole Stitch: This stitching was used to hem the open edges of the bonnet.

    The bonnet itself was made from a piece of 50 year old sheeting.

    Thanks to Ann for this lovely symbolism of Ann Levy’s life. 

    — 2 weeks ago
    This is the fourth year in a row that Cobh Tourism and the Cobh Heritage Centre have supported Tasmanian artist Christina Henri’s ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony. As on other occasions the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ was linked with a visit from the Dawn Princess liner carrying 2000 passengers. Passengers are invited to make a bonnet tribute for a convict lass and the bonnets are blessed in special ceremonies. Through these performances Christina highlights the need to remember the exiled women whose value to the social and economic contribution to the Nation was deliberately ignored for generations.

The ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony Christina holds in Cobh showcases the Irish women exiled to Australia (1788-1853) especially those women who were transported from the quayside at Cobh, County Cork.

There is a permanent installation of bonnets at the Cobh Heritage Centre that visitors to the iconic site can view. These bonnets are for the convict women aboard the Neva, the ship that sank off the coast of King Island. The Neva sailed from Cobh on the 8 January 1835 bound for New South Wales, Australia. It was shipwrecked off the coast of King Island on the 13 May 1835. 150 female convicts and their 34 children faced drowning. Only six of the women aboard and ten of the 26 crew survived the ordeal. The women who survived were Ellen Galvin from Limerick, Rose Ann Hyland from County Down, Mary Slattery from County Kerry, Rose Ann Dunn from County Cavan, 
Ann Cullen from County Laois (formerly Queens County) and Margaret Drury from County Roscommon.
Tasmanian Victor Malham is a descendant of Margaret Drury. Victor’s wife Jill has sewn a bonnet tribute for Margaret Drury which forms part of the Roses from the Heart memorial.

Christina took calico to King Island where the material was washed in the water close to where the Neva sank. The cloth was then dried on the grass near the plaque that was laid in memory of the victims of the Neva. Some of the victims lie buried beneath this plaque. Christina invited women on King Island to assist her to cut out bonnets from the fabric. The resulting cut out bonnet pieces were then sewn by members of the Irish Guild of Embroiderers in Dublin. Members sewed and embellished the bonnets which were ‘Blessed’ at a special ceremony at St Colemans Cathedral, Cobh on 20 October 2013. See:  http://rosesfromtheheart.tumblr.com/post/64617969931/well-what-a-day-thanks-to-everyone-who-made-the…

This year Cal McCarthy co author of the Wreck of the Neva: The Horrifying Fate of a Convict Ship and the Irish Women Aboard by Kevin Todd and Cal McCarthy (Sep 18, 2013) spoke at the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ held at the Cobh Heritage Centre as part of Australia Day. 
 
Textile artist Dee Newson who lives on the Isle of Mann has made a bonnet tribute for Honora Buckley. Honora, like Dee Newson, was born in Cork. Honora was tried in Cork and sentenced to transportation to Australia aboard the Neva with her young baby William. Neither survived thedisaster. 
 
During Christina’s time in Ireland last year she sewed the 26 babies bonnets, along with her friend, accomplished seamstress,  Margaret McBride from County Down. The shirts from which the christening bonnets were sewn were sourced from within Ireland. 

Christina was presented with the beautifully created bonnets in Dublin. The bonnets were then taken to Cobh in readiness for the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’. A number of Irish Guild of embroiderers Dublin members travelled to Cobh, as did Margaret McBride, to be part of the special ceremony at St Coleman’s Cathedral and the Cobh Heritage Centre. Members of the Bedizzole Italian Marching Band took part in the performance and added to the significance of the event. Students from a number of local schools and members of the Cobh Community carried bonnets through the town of Cobh after the ‘Blessing’ to the Cobh Heritage Centre where the bonnets now reside.
 
These bonnets can be viewed at the Cohb Heritage Centre.
 
The Neva was Tasmania’s (formerly named Van Diemen’s Land) second worst shipwreck. A terrible loss of so many lives.

    This is the fourth year in a row that Cobh Tourism and the Cobh Heritage Centre have supported Tasmanian artist Christina Henri’s ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony. As on other occasions the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ was linked with a visit from the Dawn Princess liner carrying 2000 passengers. Passengers are invited to make a bonnet tribute for a convict lass and the bonnets are blessed in special ceremonies. Through these performances Christina highlights the need to remember the exiled women whose value to the social and economic contribution to the Nation was deliberately ignored for generations.

    The ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ ceremony Christina holds in Cobh showcases the Irish women exiled to Australia (1788-1853) especially those women who were transported from the quayside at Cobh, County Cork.
    There is a permanent installation of bonnets at the Cobh Heritage Centre that visitors to the iconic site can view. These bonnets are for the convict women aboard the Neva, the ship that sank off the coast of King Island. The Neva sailed from Cobh on the 8 January 1835 bound for New South Wales, Australia. It was shipwrecked off the coast of King Island on the 13 May 1835. 150 female convicts and their 34 children faced drowning. Only six of the women aboard and ten of the 26 crew survived the ordeal. The women who survived were Ellen Galvin from Limerick, Rose Ann Hyland from County Down, Mary Slattery from County Kerry, Rose Ann Dunn from County Cavan, 
    Ann Cullen from County Laois (formerly Queens County) and Margaret Drury from County Roscommon.

    Tasmanian Victor Malham is a descendant of Margaret Drury. Victor’s wife Jill has sewn a bonnet tribute for Margaret Drury which forms part of the Roses from the Heart memorial.
    Christina took calico to King Island where the material was washed in the water close to where the Neva sank. The cloth was then dried on the grass near the plaque that was laid in memory of the victims of the Neva. Some of the victims lie buried beneath this plaque. Christina invited women on King Island to assist her to cut out bonnets from the fabric. The resulting cut out bonnet pieces were then sewn by members of the Irish Guild of Embroiderers in Dublin. Members sewed and embellished the bonnets which were ‘Blessed’ at a special ceremony at St Colemans Cathedral, Cobh on 20 October 2013. See:  http://rosesfromtheheart.tumblr.com/post/64617969931/well-what-a-day-thanks-to-everyone-who-made-the…
    This year Cal McCarthy co author of the Wreck of the Neva: The Horrifying Fate of a Convict Ship and the Irish Women Aboard by Kevin Todd and Cal McCarthy (Sep 18, 2013) spoke at the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’ held at the Cobh Heritage Centre as part of Australia Day. 
     
    Textile artist Dee Newson who lives on the Isle of Mann has made a bonnet tribute for Honora Buckley. Honora, like Dee Newson, was born in Cork. Honora was tried in Cork and sentenced to transportation to Australia aboard the Neva with her young baby William. Neither survived thedisaster. 
     
    During Christina’s time in Ireland last year she sewed the 26 babies bonnets, along with her friend, accomplished seamstress,  Margaret McBride from County Down. The shirts from which the christening bonnets were sewn were sourced from within Ireland. 
    Christina was presented with the beautifully created bonnets in Dublin. The bonnets were then taken to Cobh in readiness for the ‘Blessing of the Bonnets’. A number of Irish Guild of embroiderers Dublin members travelled to Cobh, as did Margaret McBride, to be part of the special ceremony at St Coleman’s Cathedral and the Cobh Heritage Centre. Members of the Bedizzole Italian Marching Band took part in the performance and added to the significance of the event. Students from a number of local schools and members of the Cobh Community carried bonnets through the town of Cobh after the ‘Blessing’ to the Cobh Heritage Centre where the bonnets now reside.
     
    These bonnets can be viewed at the Cohb Heritage Centre.
     
    The Neva was Tasmania’s (formerly named Van Diemen’s Land) second worst shipwreck. A terrible loss of so many lives.
    — 3 weeks ago
    UK Embroider’s Guild CEO and members assist Christina Henri’s ‘Roses from the Heart’ Memorial

    Christina Henri is so pleased to have the involvement of members from the UK Embroiderer’s Guild who are creating wonderful bonnet tributes for the ‘Roses from the Heart’ Memorial.

    In October 4, 2014 a stalwart supporter of the Roses from the Heart Memorial, UK Embroidery Guild member, Norma Bean unexpectedly died. Christina was devastated that Norma was unable to see the last part of the Roses from the Heart journey unfold.

    In memory of Norma’s enthusiastic contribution members of the UK Embroiderer’s Guild are making a major effort to see the realisation of the Memorial’s completion. Bonnets tributes are being made with not only an empathy for the life of the woman the bonnet remembers but also in memory of the passion Norma Bean displayed as she assisted Christina with promoting the Memorial throughout the UK.

    Norma’s family remain involved in the ‘Roses from the Heart’ Memorial and will attend, and take part in, bonnet events held in the UK during 2015.

    Christina Henri is extremely grateful for the support of CEO, Terry Murphy and all members taking part in the Roses from the Heart Memorial.

    Here are some further links:

    LATEST NEWS

    http://www.emreg.org.uk/about-us/bonnets/bonnet-project-2014

    — 4 weeks ago
    #http://www.embroiderersguild.com 
    Christina Henri is thrilled to have received a shirt from Professor Bruce Robinson AM, donated to be used in the artist’s ‘Cherished Babies’ Memorial.
Prof Robinson was awarded WA, Australian of the Year 2014. He is a world leader in the study of asbestos related cancers.  
 Bruce is a vocal advocate for fathering (he has produced a number of books and DVDs, and directs the Fathering Project at the University of Western Australia which aims to connect children with father figures).
  

    Christina Henri is thrilled to have received a shirt from Professor Bruce Robinson AM, donated to be used in the artist’s ‘Cherished Babies’ Memorial.

    Prof Robinson was awarded WA, Australian of the Year 2014. He is a world leader in the study of asbestos related cancers.  

    Bruce is a vocal advocate for fathering (he has produced a number of books and DVDs, and directs the Fathering Project at the University of Western Australia which aims to connect children with father figures).

     

    — 1 month ago

    Last year Charlotte visited Tasmania and heard about the Roses from the Heart memorial. On her return to Canada she made contact with Tasmanian artist Christina Henri asking if she and her sister Belinda could take part in the Memorial. 

    Charlotte and Belinda’s are descendants of Captain Richard Brooks through his daughter Maria Brooks who married Captain Henry Zouch in 1836. Maria inherited ‘Ashby’ ,part of the ‘Bungendaw’ estate. The house, built from local stone in 1836/7, still exists. 

    www.bungendoreblacksimmentals.com/9…

    Richard Brooks career began as a sailor with the East India Company and he visited most of the trading ports in the East.  His first voyage to Australia was in July 1802 from Cork as captain of the convict ship Atlas, when 64* convicts died.  He returned in 1806 with the chartered transport Alexandra.  Afterwards he made several trading voyages to New South Wales in the ships Rose (1808), Argo (1811) and Spring (1814).

    Charlotte describes her ancestor Captain Richard Brooks as being:

    "not a nice man’.

    She and her sister Belinda wanted to make a bonnet each for a lass transported on the Atlas (1802) and the Alexandra (1806) as an atonement for the harsh treatment metered out to the convicts aboard those two ships by their ancestor.

    Charlotte and Belinda have sewn their bonnets with respect and empathy in atonement of their ancestor Captain Richard Brooks’ ill treatment to those whose lives he was responsibility for. They have even sewn ribbon roses on the inside of the bonnet brims to add to the beauty of their tributes.
    Thanks Charlotte and Belinda.

    *[1] Robert Hughes in ‘A Fatal Shire’ states that “sixty-five died on the voyage, largely because they had to make way for 2,166 gallons of rum, which her master, Captain Brooks, planned to sell in Sydney. Governor King…refused to let him land it, but Brooks was never punished”.  Graeme Barrow in ‘Magnificent Lake George’states “A surgeon Thomas Jamison brought a civil action for assault against him and he was threatened with prosecution by transport commissioners but escaped punishment.”

    — 1 month ago

    Heike Baier-Lück from Germany has gathered together with a number of her friends to create some gorgeous bonnet tributes for Hon Artist-in-Residence at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Hobart, Tasmania -

    Dr Christina Henri’s Roses from the Heart memorial.

    After appearing with 8000 bonnets from the Roses from the Heart Memorial at the ‘Festival of Quilts’ in Birmingham in 2010 Tasmanian artist Christina Henri received strong publicity across Europe. In Germany on 30 July, 2011 German TV featured Roses from the Heart during prime TIME Saturday night news segment:  

    http://www.radiobremen.de/mediathek/index.html?suchwort=Roses%20from%20the%20Heart                               

    http://kleinebrise.wordpress.com/2011/06/

    Christina is extremely appreciative of all the bonnets that have arrived from around the world, including Germany. The bonnets that arrived yesterday organised by Heike Baier-Lück have been created with masses of affection for the women they remember. Names of all who have made the bonnets have been included along with the words, ‘Made with love and compassion’.

    Christina wishes to thank Heike, Daniel, Helen, Keistin, Regina, Susanne & Sue, Uli, Rebecca and Augi.

    — 1 month ago with 1 note

    Lyn Ryan has made a bonnet tribute for her husband Ken’s great, great grandmother Elizabeth Ryan and her baby son Samuel - Ken’s great grandfather.

    Samuel’s descendants had a get-together in Colac in 2011 and Lyn shares how many sewed small blue heart-shaped buttons to the back portion of the bonnet made for Elizabeth. Those who sewed included men in their 70’s, their children and grand-children including very young children, plus experienced and novice sewers. One button was unexpectedly sewn on the inside of the bonnet and it is still there as a reminder that even with best intentions sometimes things turn out in unexpected ways.

    Lyn and Ken think Samuel was Elizabeth’s only child. They sometimes reflect on whether Elizabeth would have ever wondered about how many descendants would follow.Today a number of Elizabeth’s descendants live in Victoria, some in other states and a few are overseas; they have been keen sports people, good parents, justice-of-the -peace and police, people employed in service, retail, manufacturing and trade sectors. 

    Ken’s second cousin Lyn Keilar cut out and sewed the bonnet for Elizabeth and then Lyn Ryan embellished the bonnet. The buttons were sewn on by several other descendants of Samuel Ryan. 

    Lyn and Ken presented Christina Henri with Elizabeth’s bonnet to be incorporated in the ‘Crossing the Line’ installation of bonnets, part of the  CrossXpollination Exhibition in Colac in June 2014.

    The bonnet is exhibited in a glass case along with 25 other bonnet tributes created by people living in Coal and surrounding districts.

    This bonnet is amongst the thousands included in the Roses from the Heart Memorial.

    — 1 month ago

    The Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Yard One opened in 1828 as a repository for female convicts and their babies and young children. The conditions in which those incarcerated were held resulted in many babies and children dying, condemned to marginalization, ostracization, inhumane practices and community prejudice.

    Female convicts also died at the site.

    Children who survived the heartless regime were transferred to the Queens Orphan Asylum (opened under the name of the King’s Orphan Asylum in 1831).

    Up until 1844 deaths of protestant convicts who died within the Hobart precinct were listed on the St David’s Anglican Church Burial Register. 

    Children and convict women were buried in the Trinity Cemetery. Today the Campbell Street Primary School exists on that burial ground site. Remains of those buried there were eventually moved to the main public cemetery at Cornelian Bay after 1902.

    Boys and girls who died at the Queens Orphan Asylum were also buried on site. Those of protestant religion were buried separately to those of Roman Catholic - their bodies entombed in a smaller cemetery.

    Details exist of a burial ground close to the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site where babies were buried.

    Residents living near the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site have spoken of body parts being uncovered after exceptionally heavy storms leading to the theory that not all the bodies were relocated. 

    Convict women lived during a time when giving birth as an unmarried mother was a crime. The shame felt by single mothers was reinforced by the social mores of the day. Community pressures enforced these customs borne by mothers and their children and even future generations who until recently were stigmatised.

    Sadly it does not come as a surprise that subsequent generations of communities have perpetuated this prejudice. The narrow-minded intolerance, the condemnation, the marginalisation, the neglect, the shunning of the problem and the callous inhumane treatment metered out to the mothers and their children in places such as Ireland.

    A committee of local Irish historians had the vision to show respect to children who had died at a ’home’ in Galway Ireland. One of the historians, Catherine Corless, recently obtained the records of 796 children - newborns up to nine years old -  born at the St Mary’s Home in Tuam (run by the Bon Secours Sisters from 1925-1961) who died in circumstances impossible to fathom. A full disclosure of the state of affairs leading to these children’s deaths may never come to light. 

    The cause of death for some appears very similar to those who died within the convict system including: Emancipation - Marasmus.

    What became of the mothers? How can society ever compensate for this brutal treatment.

    I have had conversations with descendants of convict women who are grieving for the distress their ancestors faced at the loss of a child whilst they were under colonial sentence. These descendants feel emotional pain for their forebears. Some have taken part in my ‘Departures and Arrivals’ memorial and through the creating of a tiny christening bonnet they have found some strength and peace. They feel a connection to the one they are sewing for.

    I hope the Tuam community are able to find a way to pay respect to the mothers and children and to give some value to their lives.

    Let’s hope in the airing of these tragedies society changes entrenched attitudes. When I think about these babies and children whose lives ended so abruptly I wonder about the gems that society missed out on. 

    Dr Christina Henri

    Photos:

    Cascades Female Factory Historic Site, Yard One. 2014

    'Departures and Arrivals' Memorial: Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, 2006

    ……..

    Further details can be found on the Female Convict Research Group Site: Death Under sentence http://femaleconvicts.org.au/…/DiedUnde…

    ……..

    Thanks to historian Joyce Purtscher

    Children in Queen’s Orphanage, Hobart Town, 1828-1863

    ……..

    Journalist Christine Bohan

    www.thejournal.ie/explainer-tua…

    — 2 months ago

    'A SEA OF BONNETS' Artist: Christina Henri 2011

    Visual and Performing Arts, UTAS, Launceston

    Photographer: Robert Boldkald

    3000 cloth bonnets representing convict women exiled to Australia 1788-1853. Bonnet tributes have been made by participants from around the world.

    Within her art Christina Henri uses both bonnets and boats to signify the lives of Australia’s 25,566 convict women and the ships they were transported in. Within many of her exhibitions and ceremonies wooden dinghies have been incorported. The exhibition ‘Sea of Bonnets’ held at the UTAS Visual and Performing Arts, Academy of the Arts, Launceston consisted of 3000 bonnets displayed spilling out of a superbly crafted Huon pine bosun dinghy owned by the 1st Tamar Sea Scouts. The bosun design was born out of a desire by the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy Sailing Association to replace their fourteen foot training and recreational dinghy with a new design. Ian Proctor of Bossoms Boatyard won the tender and began manufacturing the bosun for the Royal Admiralty in 1963. This connection to the British Royal Navy influenced Christina’s choice of boat.

    Christina Henri chooses to use heritage material wherever possible. The muslin draped over the boat is heritage as were the sheets the bonnets rested upon. 

     

    — 2 months ago

    Photos showing bonnets on display at the Festival of Quilts, National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. England 2010.

    Margaret Dunbar’s bonnet tribute created by Irish Smith of Western Australia and the 101 bonnets all remembering the women aboard the Amphitrite sewn by Jean Rolls of Tasmania.

    These bonnets belong to the Roses from the Heart Memorial collection. Tasmanian artist Christina Henri plans to invite women in France to make bonnets for the shipwrecked Amphitrite women and their children to be permanently displayed in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    To contact Christina for more information:

    cjhenri@gmail.com

    Photographs per kind favour: Robyn Murray.

    Robyn and Graham Murray (Western Australia) accompanied Christina to Birmingham and assisted her during the Festival of Quilts exhibition. A memorable experience.

    — 2 months ago