Matilda Rope

Matilda Rope
2010
100 x 100cm Edition of 6 + 1AP
pigment print on cotton rag

The grave of Matilda Rope lies in the Hartley Vale Cemetery near Lithgow NSW Australia. She died in 1852 aged 14 years. Nothing more is known of her. During colonisation the white settlers of Sydney in the 1800’s gradually moved west in search of more land to inhabit. It meant migration over and through the formidable Blue Mountains to the western plains of NSW. Small cemeteries throughout the mountain villages contain early settler graves; Matilda Rope’s grave is the only Rope family name in the Hartley Vale and nearby historic cemeteries. How and where she died exactly is a mystery. The lines of satin ribbon around the hem of the dress sit like fencing – a declaration of ownership, a symbol of the taking of land from the indigenous people of Australia.

2018 Family of No Man, exhibition and time capsule, Cosmos, Arles France
Commended, 2010 Muswellbrook Photographic Award, Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, Muswellbrook NSW
Finalist, 2010 National Photography Prize, Albury Art Gallery, Albury NSW