Stella (‘Miles’) Franklin – Novelist and Prize Founder
Miles Franklin was an iconic Australian author and an obvious choice to be included in an exhibition revolving around remarkable women. Growing up in rural Australia at the turn of the 20th century, Miles witnessed daily the hard work, pain and sacrifice her mother experienced maintaining a household and raising children. Miles resolved to never marry to save herself this physical and emotional hardship, and though she had several partners, she stuck to this decision.
Miles was taught to read and write by her mother and at the age of 16 began work on her most famous novel My Brilliant Career. The book was published when Miles was 19, and shortly thereafter removed from print by Miles herself after family and friends complained about the intimate nature of the contents.
In 1906 Miles travelled to America where she remained for 30 years doing various work, most notably with the National Women’s Trade Union League of America and as a volunteer nurse in WWI.
In the 1930s Miles relocated to Australia and took over the family home in Carlton, in the St George area. From this home she wrote one of her most successful novels, All that Swagger (1936).
Miles Franklin is commemorated in this exhibition with a brooch created by Roseanne Bartley from found plastic. She has aimed to represent the ideal behind the Miles Franklin Award and indeed My Brilliant Career, in showing that items that seem of little cultural significance, such as a discarded plastic spoon or the life choice of one young woman in rural Australia, can be shaped to reflect the cultural experience of a generation and of course, to create something beautiful.
|Roseanne Bartley, M is for, 2011.
Found plastic, 925 silver and stainless steel, 68x74x76 mm.
Photograph Rod Buchholz.
Don’t miss your chance to see this brooch and many more!
Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor: 100 Woman 100 Brooches 100 Stories is on show from 26 October – 15 December 2013 at Hurstville Museum & Gallery.
Visit our website for more information
Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor is an artisan travelling exhibition, toured by Museum & Gallery Services Queensland.
 Information taken from Franzidis, Evie, Tales of 100 Inspirational Australian Women, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, artisan, Fortitude Valley, Queensland, 2011, p.52.