Christina Henri is a conceptual artist from Hobart, Tasmania. Her unique approach towards unveiling convict heritage stories through the creation of unique installations, images and paintings, positions Christina as an international centerpiece for a new wave of cultural heritage understanding that will inevitably bind the tattered fabric of convict history as we know it today.
Christina Henri's Roses from the Heart(tm) installation examines the exploitation of mainly white 'slaves' - convict women - and considers the contemporary exploitation of humans, especially female workers, via sweat shops in the manufacturing industry.
The artist conceived the cloth bonnet symbol as a signifier of the convict women's worth - their economic value to Australia's prosperity. Contemporary industry now often chooses to remain competitive through the use of 'sweat shop labour'. The artist raises the notion of exploitation and poses the question has society learnt from past mistakes.
Christina invites people throughout the world to make a bonnet tribute to commemorate the value of a convict woman's life. The artist deliberately chose to invite personal tributes to be made rather than mass orders so that each bonnet is a testament to the individuality of the lass for whom it is created.
The artist chose to use a servant's bonnet for the template bonnet as many convict women were assigned to work amongst the community in private residences as domestic help. The choice of white or cream cloth is also important. From a distance the bonnet Memorial will give the impression that all the bonnets are identical. On closer inspection every bonnet will be different. Continued research identifies that the convict women were far more than a bunch of 'damned whores' as they were so often referred to.