My wish is for peace in my country

Accession Number AWM2021.781.17
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 43 cm x 42 cm
Object type Textile
Physical description linocut, stencil, stitching, ink stain, solvent transfer, embroidered thread
Maker Afghan woman name withheld
Place made Afghanistan
Date made 2017-2018
Conflict Afghanistan, 2001-2021

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


This work has a kangaroo embroidered central on the work, with the word 'Kanguru' embroidered underneath. The boarders of the handkerchief have been stained in yellow ink. The artist statement by Heather Shimmen states: 'My work is eclectic in nature and often takes the form of the linocut, which is included in some of these works. In addition I have sewn and threaded with cotton, used solvent transfer, watercolour stain and children's alphabet stamps on the hankies. As an avid collector, I play with combinations of both the human and animal/insect world discovered in all manner of places, from perhaps the library or sometimes the real creature is discovered under a log in a bush setting.

Afghan Persian dialect is embroidered at the bottom of the work, when translated into English it reads; 'My wish is for peace in my country'

This is one of 43 embroidered handkerchiefs that is a result of the Making Marks: Australia and Afghanistan - Unfolding Projects, an arts exchange project between women artists in Australia and women undertaking literacy and vocational classes at the Organisation of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities (OPAWC) in Kabul.

Artists in Australia worked on the handkerchiefs in a variety of media and then sent them to Afghanistan. Many of the ‘once marked’ handkerchiefs reflect the Australian artists’ relationship with, and connection to, place, nature and history. These themes are also reflected in the ‘twice marked’ made by the Afghan women whose relations with, and connections to, their place and their history, resonates through each stitch and informs the hopes and dreams articulated in thread. The handkerchiefs are a simple message of solidarity between two cultures and give a sense of connection and friendship.

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