Roses from the heart

In the May/June  2010 Vol 37 #5  Issue of Embroidery Canada, there was an article about the ‘Roses from the Heart’ exhibition of bonnets being organized by Christina Henri, an Australian conceptual artist from Tasmania, to pay tribute to the 25,566 convict women transported there in the 19th century. She is inviting women around the world to contribute to the project by making a bonnet to commemorate each of these women. So far, she has collected over 15,000 bonnets.

This was a project that interested one of our members – Jo Ann Allan. She is also a genealogist so this idea was a perfect combination of her interests. From the Australian website listing the names of the convict women, she chose the name of Mary Ann Nankivelle, born in 1819 in Mary Tavy Devon, because Jo Ann had a ggggreat grandmother by the same name born in 1730. Her research connected the 2 women, albeit quite distantly related.

The bonnet that Jo Ann made is now in Australia. It is pictured on Christina’s blog

Christina Henri’s website is

More information about Roses from the Heart and the bonnet pattern and for historical research can be found at the following website.

1 comment to Roses from the heart

  • Hullo to all the Embroiderer's Guild of Victoira members and a big thank you to all who have made bonnet tributes as part of my Roses from the Heart(R) Memorial – the first memorial to ALL women transported to Australia as convicts between 1788 and 1853. Your Canadian readers may not know that in 1789 the Captain of the 'Duke of Leinster' was transporting a consignment of convict men and women from Ireland to Australia  when he decided to off load his human cargo in Newfoundland. So interestingly enough Canada did receive a ship load of convicts, albeit without authorization.  Bonnets have been made by Canadians for the woman who were on board this ship.
    I am hoping to bring an exhibition of the bonnets and hold a 'Blessing of the Bonnets' in Newfoundland in 2014. I have already received 20,066 bonnet tributes and I still need a further 5,000. 
    I look forward to more bonnet tributes being made by Canadians.

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