28 Mar 2022 Embroidery Exhibit
In February the Busselton Historical Society hosted an Embroidery exhibit at the Busselton Museum that proved very popular with our visitors. This special exhibit, called “A journey through the eye of a needle from 1900’s embroidery to modern-day pieces” was curated by long term member of the Busselton Historical Society Research Team, Penny Swingler, with able support from many other members. Hear about what this display meant to Penny in her own words.
This year enabled me to combine my fascination with embroidery and a chance to raise money for the museum. A call was put out to members and friends and I was delightfully surprised by the treasures that were unearthed from drawers and cupboards. Of course, being the researcher that I am, I wanted to know the story behind each piece and I think this added to their charm. Further research revealed the history of embroidery is the history of women. One poignant story that stood out was the story of the women prisoners of Changi prison whose personally symbolic embroidery patches were combined and sent to the men in their Changi prison. There was also the story of how the local women of Busselton decorated a tea chest to hold their embroidery pieces.
Of course envisioning the display and making it happen cannot be achieved without the help of others. In particular this involved Shirley whose knowledge of presentation and her love of ironing (not!) and her work setting up the display were invaluable. Many thanks must also go to Delys and Viv for their finishing touches, to the men who helped set up the tables and of course to the ladies who allowed us to display their treasured pieces.
My mind is already buzzing for next year’s display. Keep calm Shirley!Penny Swingler, Research Lead for the Busselton Historical Society