view of image created from Jennifer's page

The inspiration and point of contact for this panel is Jennifer's page.Jennifer shares her interest in cross stitch and tells us about ther family. She also writes about Downs Syndrome and how it has touched her family. On this site Jennifer provides links to support groups and resources which relate to Downs Syndrome

"My web pages came into being because of "spare time" I guess. We moved to Australia from New Zealand and I was a young mother with two children (one of whom has Down Syndrome) and no friends or family close by. I had enough time on my hands to become very involved in the internet - and enough time to spend finding sources of emotional support for myself on the internet.

I have made many acquaintances and a few good friends on the internet. Most of the people I have met have children with special needs of one sort or another. We all come together to chat about problems, laugh about happenings, ask questions about health concerns, and help each other in times of trouble.

During my 2 years involvement with the Down Syndrome Newsgroup, there have been many parents who have arrived with a pre-natal diagnosis of Down Syndrome for their unborn child. These people have many questions about the challenges of caring for a child with Down Syndrome. Many of these people come to the group having been advised by their medical professionals to terminate their pregnancy.

When someone comes to the newsgroup with questions, many people reach out and tell them of their experiences - good and bad. I came to a point at the end of last year where I felt that I needed to do something more than send a short message of support in these instances. I felt that writing about Rachael and having her image on the web would help explain the realities of a child with special needs. My page is not very "high tech" but I believe that it portrays our Rachael in just the right way and I feel very proud that I can refer people to it for information."

This is part of a body of work which is an exploration into how women are representing themselves on the World Wide Web, and the connection between 'homemaking' and 'home page'. Embroidery is a culturally-loaded textile art often associated with gender, the domestic, memory or nostalgia. I use stitchery to seduce and draw the viewer in. The desire to touch a textile and the need to connect with the work in a physical sense is a metaphor for the internet's promise of community.

To produce this image, screen shots from the Jennifer's home pages were taken, then combined and manipulated in Photoshop. The image was then printed on cotton fabric using a Colour Style Writer 2400. To this print I added stitchery using various hand dyed threads of cotton, silk, and wool.

The exhibition "Playing False" was held in the Craft ACT Gallery, Canberra, Australia, between the 3rd of September 1997 and the 21st September 1997.

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