Tennant Creek Craft Council
Pictured are Joan Carpenter, Wendy Van der Waal, Chris Elcoate and Karen Bennett with the Tennant Creek Craft Council Commemorative Banner. Photo courtesy of Karl Herzog.
During 1992 the Northern Territory celebrated 50 years since the Japanese bombing of Darwin in World War 2. To mark the occasion the Tennant Creek Branch of the Craft Council has assembled a commemorative banner depicting old war time photographs.
The idea of the banner was formulated during a workshop by Tori de Mestre last year. The old photos depicting the war years were taken from publications loaned by locals, and ex-servicemen, and were then subjected to the photo transfer methods of photocopying, wiping with turpentine, and ironing the impression onto silk fabric.
Marilyn Courtney, Rae Sheldon-Elliott, Chris Elcoate, Karen Bennett and Wendy Van der Waal were involved in this stage of the preparation of the banner.
The silk impressions were then beautifully hand painted by local artist Chris Elcoate.
Several of the older aboriginal people from the area remembered the war years, and their stories were typed, treated with the same transfer method, and included among the banner photos.
Joan Carpenter then took over to give the silk pictures a light backing of stiffening for easier handling and after long consultations with Beryl Collins, the final format on the backing fabric was decided. May Sonntag hand stitched the pictures in place, and then it was back to Joan to add the backing wadding, backing and to start the quilting. The final borders were added to give a framed effect, and the banner was finally finished.
It was on loan to the Tennant Creek CWA branch and finished in time for the NT CWA Annual Conference where it was admired by members from all branches in the NT.
The banner is causing much interest especially among the older town residents, and will serve as a permanent reminder of Tennant Creeks involvement during the war years. It was officially presented to the town of Tennant Creek at the NT Craft Exhibition in September. This exhibition was held in conjunction with Desert Harmony week, which is Tennant Creek’s week of cultural festivities.
The Craft Council members involved in the project are very proud of the result
Published by “Down Under Quilts” – December 1992