Academic journal article Antipodes

Exhibition

Academic journal article Antipodes

Exhibition

Article excerpt

In 1893 a display of New South Wales' women's work was exhibited at the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.

You'll notice her eyes, a glimpse beneath

the brim of cabbage tree hat,

her curls of lyrebird tails, her cape of feathers

dissembling birds from the Lachlan-

while her sister models New South Wales tweed

trimmed with platypus, a black swansdown muff,

and collarette of possum fur. She stands on rugs

of native cat (think quoll) and dingo furs,

the needle and thread of feminine agency

crafting this new century's woman, her ingenuity

transforming a nation in the fall of her skirts.

She waits, now, outside the parlor room

her strange botanies-boronia, flannel flower, waratah

embroidering bodices and tablecloths,

a woman's industry served with native currant

jams and jellies purpling the glass. …

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