Womens in Pearling Days
Fiona Elisala Mosby and Paula Savage
90cm x 60cm
This artwork portrays women’s perspective of their duties, roles and responsibilities in the Pearling Days. Back in those days, the men worked hard labour on pearling lugger boats while the women stayed back on the island to maintain the house and look after the children. Sometimes the men were gone for four to six months at a time, out on the sea. Back then, they had no power, they had to use lamps and candles for light and they did their cooking on the outdoor fire. When the men went out to sea, the women made baskets, tended gardens, and gathered food from the land and sea. It was also the new era of Christianity, so every time the food was gathered, it was blessed, and the family went to church every Sunday. All the images that are used in this artwork display the beauty, and unique nature of this family orientated home environment. The flowers show the beauty of women and the island, the outdoor fire cooking shows the important role of the women in maintaining the house and caring for the children. The bible and cross symbolise going to church on Sundays, and as a reminder of a faith and belief in a God that took care of the men that were out at sea working. Encompassing and holding all these aspects of the Pearling Days is the basket. The basket illustrates the strength of the women who carried the load and took on the everyday life tasks and skills to care for their home and family.