For the few days following the sinking, ships traversing along the route commented on what appeared to be 'flocks of seagulls in the water in the distance'. It was only as they drew near that they realised it was not seagulls, but the deceased floating in their life-jackets. There were also numerous empty life-jackets floating in amongst them.
Wanting to remember the victims of this disaster, the eloquence of such a statement again stirred something in me. The shape and style of life-jackets then, were completely different to today. The ones aboard Titanic had 4 small and two large oblongs of cork sewn into pockets, both front and back. Whilst cork floats well, the act of jumping into the water whilst wearing one, often resulted in bruised or sometimes fractured jaws!
I used this shape to design and create a 'rag rug' type jacket, similar to the above but with a different slant. Mine would be made from wool which although designed to keep someone worn, would also be waterlogged once wet. In effect, creating an item that might harm you as well as being ineffectual in keeping you alive once in water.
My 'jacket' needed to reflect not only the victims but their varying nationalities. After many weeks, each nations flags were identified relevant to that period in time. The borders were kept plain to reflect the colour and shape of an actual life-jacket. The cork areas would be replaced with individual knots. One knot one victim, in the colours of their nations flags. Here are the front and back photographs.
These next two show the side and inside views.
External comments at marking seemed to indicate that
a) it looked like a child's cardigan or
b) it was too pristine, should have been more distressed.
Those comments missed the point. Reading my explanation might have helped. Even though at first glance it could be interpreted as above, my point was that this was neither. It was a memorial, newly created therefore it looked pristine in the same way a new memorial would. If allowed to be exhibited permanently outside, it would in time become distressed.