Last week, my friend Sonja and I went to visit “Women of Empire” Exhibition in Bendigo, Vic. The exhibition closed here in Bendigo on Wednesday but as it is touring (and growing) over the next few years, a review is still relevant.
A major project of the Dressing Australia Museum of Costume, this exhibition looks at the role of women during the years of WW1. It examines the careers and contributions of many women and vividly illustrates just how they would have been dressed at the time.
One of the outstanding features of these beautiful costumes is the size… or should I say, lack of size. Those waists were waspishly thin, those shoes tiny and narrow and the women whose clothing was on show certainly weren’t tall. It is remarkable to see how we have grown in just 100 years.
On the day we visited, curator Fiona Baverstock was on hand to talk about some of the pieces, to tell us about the touring future of the collection and to explain the wonderful carpet of poppies that stretched across the carpet. I had noticed that on display were a number of large framed embroidered pieces and postcards that were sent or brought home by servicemen. However, there were none of the embroidered postcards that were a feature of wartime correspondence.
A quick trip back the next day and Fiona had four embroidered postcards to display for the rest of the exhibition in Bendigo. It is envisaged they will also be part of Kyneton’s and Ballarat’s exhibitions in the coming months. A future post will describe these items… and hopefully find families with whom they will be reunited.
Where you can see the exhibition in the next few months:
*RANDWICK AND BONDI JUNCTION, SYDNEY
Monday 20 April 2015 – Sunday 31 May 2015
Bowen Library, Anzac Avenue, Maroubra & Waverley Library, Sydney
Friday 5 June 2015 – Sunday 21 June 2015
Kyneton Museum, Piper Street, Kyneton
Telephone – (03) 5422 0333
Friday 11 July 2015 – Sunday 19 July 2015
St Patrick’s Hall, Ballarat
Ticketing details to be advised
For information call 03 54 68 7418