Strong Tatiara women celebrated

HISTORY MONTH: Material Girls features historic pieces on loan from the community. Picture: Supplied

Sophie Conlon

Walkway Gallery has stepped back in time for History Month, celebrating the hard work of the Tatiara’s pioneer women with the latest exhibition Material Girls.

Gallery director Naomi Fallon said the show looked at the women who shaped the district.

“The exhibition has been really well received by the community, we have only been open for a week and we’ve already had lots of visitors through which is great,” she said.

“The feedback has been amazing, so I am very happy with how it has gone.”

While the Walkway often hosted big name Australian and international artists, Ms Fallon said she also enjoyed hosting local artists and the Material Girls exhibition was extra special.

“It’s been really nice,” she said.

“There has been a lot of reminiscing and people talking about their family history as well, so even though it is not one of those big blockbuster shows it has a touch point with everyone that comes through the door.”

Ms Fallon said each item within the show was on loan from different members or groups in the community and they each had a story.

“The pioneer dresses were made for the 150 years of South Australia back in 1986 and they haven’t been seen since then,” she said.

“then of course we have some wedding dresses, old school uniforms, bridesmaid dresses and things that people have worn and made over the years.

“There are some really nice home made things in here, and we have things like embroidered and crocheted table cloths and underwear, a christening gown that’s been made from a World War One parachute, knitted bathing suits- there is a bit of everything.”

She said the background of each piece was told in the exhibition with further information included in the show catalogue, though everything and one thing in common.

“What they all have in common is that story and family history and love that people have for their families,” she said.

Material Girls ties in with History Month, which has a theme of Power this year.

Ms Fallon said she wanted the show to highlight the power women had in helping shape the Tatiara region.

“It’s that famous saying- ‘behind every man is a woman’,” she said.

“Often they were behind the scenes doing things like making and creating, and we don’t do that anymore.

“So I think they were quite powerful even back then, it’s nice to acknowledge them.”

Material Girls will on on show in the Walkway Gallery until June 1.