by Rachael Romero (guest author) on 16 November, 2011
Interdisciplinary artist Rachael Romero is currently creating the Magdalene Laundry Diary drawings for her forthcoming film. Here she shares some more images from her work in progress. Continue reading “The Pines”→
‘We were just whipped away; we didn’t know where we were going,’ says Carmel Durant, who grew up in Bidura Home, Glebe, NSW and with various foster parents. Read Glenn Ellard’s report in the South Coast Register about the chalk drawing Carmel made when she was ten years old.
Carmel’s drawing will be part of the exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homesand Institutions which opens on 16 November 2011 at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra.
Artist Rachael Romero, who was in the The Pines, the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Plympton, South Australia shares her painting of an inspirational teacher.
Briefly, a kind old woman was brought in to supervise our studies. Her name was Mrs Mary Letherby, she was only there a week or two.
We expected her to think of us as defiled like the nuns did. But she did something nobody else had done–she treated us as human.
She listened to us and accepted us untarnished by the atrocities we’d experienced. We were amazed.
This gave us hope when we had none.
After we got out several of us went to see her. Her compassion changed our lives.
Although she died not long after she has inspired me all my life.
by Rachael Romero (guest author) on 5 August, 2011
Artist Rachael Romero, who was in the The Pines, the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Plympton, South Australia shares her painting Pines Quadrangle dark with station of crossdetail.
Rachael describes its significance:
It was dark the first time I crossed that cement quadrangle–at first I thought I was on the deck of an old ship. I had entered a new confinement.
It was clear that I had been condemned–that my prior life was over. That I was despised by my new jailers.
That the life that loomed before me was now even more dreadful . The idea that I would have to endure an unbearable seven years until I reached twenty-one and had the power of my own volition was agonizing.
They knew not what they did.
Now they wash their hands, but the stain is indelible.
Leigh Westin, who grew up in Scarba House and Parramatta Girls Home, is creating a memorial entitled No More Silent Tears for Forgotten Australians. The memorial is comprised of a large panel of handkerchiefs sewn together, each decorated by those who spent time in a Children’s Home or institution.
If you experienced institutional or out-of-home ‘care’ and would like to contribute to this memorial, then on a lady’s-sized handkerchief embroider and/or write in ink, your name, the name of the institutions(s) and the year(s) that you lived there. Please feel free to decorate it however you wish, so that it will be suitable for people of all ages to view. The important thing is that you only use a lady’s handkerchief so that Leigh can easily sew them together. You may, of course, make a handkerchief in order to remember a Forgotten Australian or former Child Migrant who has passed away.
You can then post it to:
National Museum of Australia
GPO Box 1901
Canberra ACT 2601
Adele will then pass the handkerchiefs onto Leigh. Please make sure that your contribution reaches Adele by close of business Friday 12 August, 2011.
Below are some of the handkerchiefs that have already been made.
Rachael Romero, who was in the The Pines, the Convent of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Plympton, South Australia, shares her drawing A Severed Life.
Rachael writes about her art work:
Those responsible for our incarceration were looking in the mirror. How many lives cauterized?
How many hands maimed?
Girls not protected but stained by unwarranted and self-righteous religious and civil presumption of guilt.
Their persecuters were looking in the mirror.
‘Magdalene Laundry Convent of Good Shepherd Crown’ by Rachael Romero
by Wings for Survivors (guest author) on 7 March, 2011
Alchemy Theatre’s production of Sanctuary, written by Chris Dickens and directed by Deeanne Clapton is touring Victoria this month. Sanctuary creates an opportunity to continue the conversations about our institutional history and the development of our national character.
The tour is proudly supported by the CAFS Heritage Program Ballarat, the Department of Human Services Grampians Region and the Helen McPherson Smith Trust.
Freddie tried to rush up the wall over the barbed wire one night. The dogs were barking on the other side. We were all wishing her up and over and out, but of course she got dragged back.
She would keep trying.
Blood Sisters copyright Rachael Romero, 1984
Me and Lilly did this because we felt we had become sisters in horror. Lilly had been taken from her mother to a mission then The Pines. She didn’t remember where she was from. I didn’t want to be from where I remembered.