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Unfolding Projects: The Handkerchief Project

Unfolding Projects: The Handkerchief Project is the second of two bodies of image-text works initiated by artists in Australia as acts of exchange with women in Afghanistan. The completed artworks comprise handkerchiefs that have been printed on, embroidered and marked in various ways with visuals and text by women from both countries.

The objective of the project has been to utilize artistic practice to support women in Afghanistan in their quest to acquire and use literacy skills. As Australian women living in privileged circumstances in a country whose military is involved in Afghanistan, we feel a responsibility to connect to Afghan women living in circumstances of war and immense hardships. By presenting and exchanging our personal worlds of art and text we are creating a meeting place – despite the challenges of difference – in the space of an artwork.

20 Australian women artists have created mainly print-media imagery in line with their artistic practice on individual handkerchiefs. These handkerchief ‘pages’ were delivered to OPAWC’s Vocational Centre in Kabul, with an offer to Afghan women who are learning literacy skills to relate to the imagery by writing directly on, over or around the imagery in any medium.

Despite challenges of communication and the circumstances of a country in conflict, the artwork has made its way from Australia to Kabul, and back. Not all the artwork has returned. The 60 Australian images on handkerchiefs, as well as the 43 handkerchiefs that returned with Afghan responses, are documented below.

Photography of all artwork: Susan Gordon-Brown 2019.

 

Original artwork by Australian artists

Completed artworks by Afghan artists

Kath Armour, silk, cotton thread, digital print

Kath Armour and unnamed Afghan woman

Kath Armour, silk, cotton thread, digital prin


Kath Armour and Mursal

Kath Armour, silk, cotton thread, digital print

Kath Armour and unnamed Afghan woman

Rosalind Atkins, linocut

Rosalind Atkins and Shagofa

Rosalind Atkins, linocut

Rosalind Atkins and Arzoo

Rosalind Atkins, linocut

Rosalind Atkins and Fatana

Tracey Avery, embroidery

Tracey Avery and Mariam

Tracey Avery, embroidery

Tracey Avery and Mina Jun

Tracey Avery, embroidery

Tracey Avery and Diar Jun

Marian Crawford, relief print

Marian Crawford and Aziza

Marian Crawford, relief print

Marian Crawford and Shagofa

Marian Crawford, relief print

Marian Crawford and Arzoo

Tess Edwards, etching

Tess Edwards and unnamed Afghan woman

Tess Edwards, etching

Tess Edwards and Frishta

Di Ellis, solvent transfer, embroidery floss, pigment texta

Di Ellis and Madina

Silvi Glattauer, photogravure, direct transfer print

Silvi Glattauer and Aysha Ahmad

Silvi Glattauer, photogravure, direct transfer print

Silvi Glattauer and Seema Ahmady

Silvi Glattauer, photogravure, direct transfer print

Silvi Glattauer and Sameen gul Ahmad

Annique Goldenberg, ice, ink, screenprint

Annique Goldenberg and unnamed Afghan woman

Annique Goldenberg, ice, ink, screenprint

Annique Goldenberg and Salma

Annique Goldenberg, ice, ink, screenprint

Annique Goldenberg and Fauzia

Karena Goldfinch, photogravure & embroidery thread

Karena Goldfinch and Hamida

Karena Goldfinch, photogravure & embroidery thread

Karena Goldfinch and Taqwa

Karena Goldfinch, photogravure & embroidery thread

Karena Goldfinch and unnamed Afghan woman

Barbara Kameniar, linocut, cotton thread

Barbara Kameniar and unnamed Afghan woman

Barbara Kameniar, linocut, cotton thread

Barbara Kameniar and Hajira

Jennifer Kamp, digital print

Jennifer Kamp and Madina

Jennifer Kamp, digital print

Jennifer Kamp and Fatima

Catherine Pilgrim, stone lithography

Catherine Pilgrim and Marva

Catherine Pilgrim, stone lithography

Catherine Pilgrim and Sumaya

Catherine Pilgrim, stone lithography

Catherine Pilgrim and Zenab

Anne Riggs, watercolour, ink, pencils, fabric, thread, handmade paper

Anne Riggs and unnamed Afghan woman

Anne Riggs, watercolour, ink, pencils, fabric, thread, handmade paper

Anne Riggs and unnamed Afghan woman

Anne Riggs, watercolour, ink, pencils, fabric, thread, handmade paper

Anne Riggs and unnamed Afghan woman

Annelise Scott, linocut

Annelise Scott and Farzana

Annelise Scott, linocut

Annelise Scott and Malalai

Annelise Scott, linocut

Annelise Scott and Razla

Heather Shimmen, linocut, solvent transfer, cotton thread, watercolour, stamps

Heather Shimmen and Zakia Arghandiwal

Gali Weiss, photogravure

Gali Weiss and Mahtob

Gali Weiss, photogravure

Gali Weiss and Hosnia

Christine Willcocks, solvent transfer

Christine Willcocks and Shabana

Christine Willcocks, solvent transfer

Christine Willcocks and Fahima

Christine Willcocks, solvent transfer

Christine Willcocks and Nile

 

The following artworks have not returned to Australia

Marta Brysha, embroidery, thread

 

Marta Brysha, embroidery, thread

 

Marta Brysha, embroidery, thread

 

Ann Cunningham, direct transfer print

 

Ann Cunningham, direct transfer print

 

Ann Cunningham, direct transfer print

 

Tess Edwards, etching

 

Barbara Kameniar, linocut, cotton thread

 

Di Ellis, solvent transfer, embroidery floss, pigment texta

 

Di Ellis, solvent transfer, embroidery floss, pigment texta

 

Jennifer Kamp, digital print

 

Tanya Ngerengere, digital imaging, drawing

 

Tanya Ngerengere, digital imaging, drawing

 

Tanya Ngerengere, digital imaging, drawing

 

Heather Shimmen, linocut, solvent transfer, cotton thread, watercolour, stamps

 

Heather Shimmen, linocut

 

Gali Weiss, photogravure

 
Images & Text © Copyright 2019 Gali Weiss.