Presenting works by the Sisters in the Heritage CentrePrint
- by Imogen Kennard-King, Collections Registrar
As a part of the development of the Heritage Centre, the Archives was asked to compile a list of artistic works within the collection made by Sisters of Charity.
A selection of these objects will be displayed in the exhibition space.
This compilation and selection involved an extensive process of identifying, documenting and researching objects and textiles in the Archives’ collection which are known to have been made by Sisters of Charity.
Some of these objects and artistic Sisters were already well-documented and would be familiar to many Sisters; however, many others had not yet been identified as being the creative work of a Sister, or fully appreciated, for some time.
The artistic practice of many Sisters is often closely linked to their ministry, for example, those who taught art in schools. However, there are many Sisters who have used and continue to use their artistic practice as a creative outlet and respite from their ministry work.
What was surprising was the many media and forms these artistic works have taken. The examples in the Archives number in the hundreds and include painting, drawing, iconography, candle making and decoration, illumination and calligraphy, needlework in many forms, knitting, pottery and painted ceramics, jewellery-making, stained glass, bark artworks, photography, poetry and musical composition among others. Examples of creative works by Sisters of Charity are also present in other collections in Australia.
The display of Sisters’ creative works in the Heritage Centre would not have been possible without first documenting the examples which exist within the collection. The examples documented are far too numerous to display in a single exhibition; however, this project allows scope for future displays and access to these beautiful objects.
In presenting these works to be viewed and appreciated, the Heritage Centre will continue to add to the understanding of the ongoing story of the Sisters of Charity of Australia.