In the future I would like to become a lawyer defending women's rights

Accession Number AWM2021.781.24
Collection type Art
Measurement Overall: 27 cm x 27 cm
Object type Textile
Maker Afghan woman name withheld
Atkins, Rosalind
Place made Afghanistan, Australia
Date made 2017-2018
Conflict Afghanistan, 2001-2021

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Rosalind Atkins artist statement reads: 'My practice is based in the printmaking mediums of wood engraving, copper engraving, etching and drawing. An integral aspect of it is collaborating with other artists, writers and poets. In much of my work the tree signifies my concern for the natural world and the increasing distance between people and the environment. These handkerchiefs belonged to my grandmother. Some are edged in lace made by her. The leaf pattern imagery is drawn from placing the handkerchief under a eucalyptus tree in my garden, tracing where the leaves fell and cutting the pattern into lino before printing.' The work has eucalyptus leaves as its border. Afghan Persian dialect is embroidered in the centre of the work, when translated into English it reads; 'In the future I would like to become a lawyer defending women's rights'.

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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