Dr Christina Henri
Phd in Visual and Performing Arts graduated in 2011
(Also studied Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) and Master of Fine Arts through the University)
“I completed a Diploma of Art Craft and Design in 1999 and I wanted to further my studies so I applied for acceptance into the Fine Arts Degree course at the University of Tasmania in Hobart in 2000.
“The University of Tasmania was a natural choice for me as I wanted to continue living in Tasmania and attend the School of Art in Hobart. The School of Art complex afforded the opportunity to study and create art on a site close to the Derwent River, in view of Mount Wellington, two important local landmarks. The closeness of the School of Art building to the water where ships transporting convicts anchored was particularly exciting. Probably the most important draw card for me was the calibre of the staff, especially my supervisor who was extremely interested and knowledgeable with regard to Tasmania’s colonial landscape.
“In the final year of my Undergraduate Degree (2003) I visited the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site as part of a module – ‘The Historical Landscape’.
“I returned to the site and was offered a position of honorary Artist-in-Residence. I still maintain that position today. In conjunction with this relationship with the Cascades Female Factory Site I undertook study through Honours, Masters and PhD research.
“Prior to this visit I had known nothing of female factories or convict women. I had not been aware that only a five-minute drive from the centre of Hobart was a heritage site containing remnants of Tasmania’s largest female factory. Following that discovery I was determined to help bring the story of Australia’s female convicts to public attention.
“During this time I conceived the memorial ‘Roses from the Heart’ that pays tribute to all convict women sentenced to transportation to Australia. My University research and art have played a very important role in my decision to highlight the story of Australia’s convict women, using the symbolism of a simple cloth bonnet taken from a pattern sourced from an authentic 1860s servant’s bonnet.
“I have since been indoctrinated in the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women, won the Creative Partnerships Australia State Award in the SME category with the Tasmanian Female Factory and in 2013 was named the Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year.”
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