The photo of my mother, who had become displaced at the end of World War Two, was taken by the International Refugee Organisation as her ID, part of processing her application to migrate to Australia. There is a startled quality in her eyes; although a friend suggested she also has some of the stalwart heroism of Ingrid Bergman. Her journey would take her by ship from Austria and Italy to Australia, including a fortnight becalmed off Fremantle,Western Australia, because of a suspected smallpox outbreak onboard.
I came across an Italian fabric store in Surry Hills the ragtrade district of Sydney; the owner had a vat of exquisite art-deco buttons in front of her store for her customers to choose, enough for a dress or such. She was horrified when I presented a heaped double handful for my purchase. I made use of the art-deco buttons to vividly characterise the intense aesthetic quality of my mother's experience. The buttons' indentations allows for a micro patterning, an overlay to the narrative. This interpretation is ironic, given the fetish status that art deco objects had for people I associated with, while I was sewing the work.