view of simply samplers page

The inspiration and point of contact for this panel is Simply Samplers.Rosemary Powell created this site devoted to samplers and their history as part of the Dozy Rosy Home page

Rosmary's comments about the internet speak of her personal experience with technology:

"I have spent most of my life working in "high tech" libraries, and computers have been an integral part of this environment. Email, FTP, telnet, and more recently the web, have been tools as much as catalogues, telephones or photocopiers, and I feel completely "at home" with all of them. Sharing information is my life-blood.

My place of work is a "sister" laboratory to CERN, where Tim Berners-Lee, "father" of the World Wide Web, originally worked. His initial idea was to provide fellow scientists with a means of information transfer regardless of the computer platform they were working on: to bring their existing Tower of Babel crashing down. I have been virtually in at the "birth" of a new and marvellous tool for international communication.

But it was not until a few years later that I became aware of this tool as something I could use outside work. We are lucky enough to have in our community a thriving crafts group; every two years the local church has a Flower Festival, where we also hold a crafts display. At one of these in 1993, I spoke to a lacemaker who used computer software to make her own designs, and she told me about a needlework newsgroup (which turned out to be r.c.t.n.) and how she had been talking lace to someone in Russia. So a whole new dimension was opened up for me to explore!

To me the internet is NOT a vast unfriendly place - it is a "closely knit" web of international friendship and companionship: I have discovered a whole new "sister" (and "brotherhood"!) not only of stitchers, but also of fellow sampler enthusiasts. I have been embraced by their love and care in times of distress, I have offered hope and help in return, I have learned how to "weave" my own web to share my interests and loves and to welcome potential friends from all over the world to my "home" page. "

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 Rosemary'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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