scarlet fever

Scarlet Fever was an installation commissioned by the Historic Houses Trust of NSW for Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta. Made from hand dyed silk, Scarlet Fever was a patchwork quilt stretched onto a steel frame and suspended in the Oak Tree Room at Elizabeth Farm. The quilt was lit from below so that the silk glowed richly, like a stained glass window.

The installation illustrated the story of Isabella Macarthur, who was quarantined in the Oak Tree Room as she suffered from scarlet fever. The red dyes relate to the flush of fever and to the body; blood and flesh. The dyes were allowed to ooze and drip organically. The quilt is stretched tightly over the frame as it was a story of a mother’s tense vigil over her sick daughter, and a child’s struggle to survive.

Scarlet Fever by Jade Oakley artwork image

art materials: 

  • hand dyed silk
  • steel frame

art discipline: 

  • installation

exhibitions: 

  • scarlet fever

Photograph by: 

Gary Crockett

Date: 

2004

Dimensions: 

3000 x 4000mm

Location: 

Elizabeth Farm, Parramatta