Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pulp Redux- Kims book Update

Wahoo, it's pulp time again! I'm doing things out of order, having completed the first page and then the last page without doing the middle page...which I've started but not finished! The first section was dedicated to the Maori Warriors who fought at the battle of Gate Pa, the second sections belongs to the Brittish Soliders and the last section is a tribute to Archdeacon Brown and his wife Charlotte. On January 4 1838 the Archdeacon and his family returned to Tauranga after a period away establishing another missionary site. He built a library and chapel on land which is now known as "The Elms." His role was that of preacher, counsellor and community advisor. His library housed books that served the needs of not just his parish but the wider community.(Incidently, many of these books are still housed in the mission library which is now a small museum.)

Archdeacon Brown was able to speak both English and Maori and as a result he was able to work with both of the fighting parties. Imagine the torment this must have caused this peace loving man? To see his friends at war with each other?
On the night before the crushing defeat suffered by the Brittish 14 soldiers dined at his table, the next day all but 1 of those men were dead.

Below are 2 passages from the poem kept inside the pocket on this page 

Then, when the meal was ended, tale and joke

died into silence as the kind host spoke.
Lost are his wods today, we only know

that those who listened felt their hearts a-glow

With pentince; and, kneeling side by side

Grim Verteran and the lad in youthful pride,

they took the sacrament of endless life

then rose, strong-hearted for the morrow's strife.

Within this room, when but two nights had fled

was sound of mourning for the gallant dead;

Of all those happy guests who feasted here,

but one was left to tell the story, drear

Of ambush, vain and of its bitter cost

When heroes, Pakeha and Maori, met

in that grim strife that we would fain forget

Poem by Kathleen Hawkins
It's hard to know how illustrate a story like this. Its potentially one of suffering and strife. Luckily there's two sides to the story!  In the christian faith believers go to heaven, far away from warfare and pain, to a place of peace and love.
While it's true that the Archdeacon witnessed many hardships and lost countless friends he was also a source of comfort to the soldiers and warriors. His job was  to give hope and unconditional love in the midst of one of NZ's most significant landwars.
I chose to reflect the love held within his home and his heart. Evident in his actions and appreciated by many.

Still in this place today the quiet light
falls on a room scarce changed since that past night;
and in its quietude the questions rise

Was this the vision seen by dying eyes?
Did that glimpse of homely peacefullness
shine through the pain of wounds to heal and bless?

And did the kindess freely given
help some brave soul find his way to heaven?

The house(in the photo) was built after the library and parish. The soliders (in the poem) dined in the great dining room housed in that very building. These days it is open to the public, the room preserved as it was that day. Having been there I can tell you the room has a stillness about it. A quieting effect that causes you to sit, be still and be thankful. The portrait is of the Archdeacon Brown.
The 'trap door' style flap opnes to reveal the poem.

I've used 100% recycled and second hand fabric, lace and beads. You can see glimpse of the red scarf fabric I used on the Maori page. Kim loves copper so I used an old copper wire 'thing' found inside something son finds me the best things! The copper wire (see above pic) is delicate and broke easily but I love the way it looks nestled between the coffee dyed cotton and bits of lace and mutton-cloth. 
This page sits on the back of the Maori page which will lift up to reveal the Brittish page and this one. The peacemaker between the two parties, in the middle like he was in life.

 Coming soon: Blog Giveaway!! I've created a fabric collage with a water theme to commemorate International Blog Action Day so watch this space to be in the draw!

Also coming soon...Altered matchboxes for Bad Penny's 12 days of Christmas Matchbox swap! It's been ages since I've altered matchboxes but it's been fun!

 *See you all soon*


Anonymous said...

absolutely stunning, lisa! you have put so much into this! gorgeous pages, wonderful piece of history and so much love!! i adore this and know that kim will too, the lucky girl!!

ArtPropelled said...

Not only have I feasted my eyes on your beautiful work but I've also learned a little history today.

Lisa said...

stunning details and a little history lesson to boot. looks like you got your mojo going!

notmassproduced said...

totally delicious

rivergardenstudio said...

What an intriguing story and your art is gorgeous... roxanne

La Dolce Vita said...

well, I am just starting on Kims book for our swap... and I only hope my pages will be a beautiful, love the historical significance and the poem and i think you did a great job illustrating it!! xx's

Kim Palmer said...

Oh Lisa, I'm having a little cry! What a lovley piece this is. I love the poem and the take you have taken with the piece. Very heartfelt.What a positiion this man had trying to maintain frienships with both parties. I think you have manged to relate his tale so well. The poetry piece is wonderful and you soo know I'm a copper gal! LOVE, love, love it mwah!

Debrina said...

I think this takes the storytelling element of Pulp to new heights, Lisa. I am really really looking forward to getting Kim's book, as the war theme always comes with hope and tragedy. There is always something there to dig your teeth into and you've done just that! Beautiful and sublime and celebratory and sad all at once.

Deborah said...

Lovely work and heartfelt story.