Woollen rug by Tilly Aston
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In the Collection of Vision Australia
This rectangular woollen rug was made by Tilly Aston and given to her great niece Lilian and husband Henry on the occasion of their marriage in July 1938. It is grey in colour with a red, green and black geometric and floral pattern worked into it. It was used as a floor rug and, in particular, a hearth rug by Lilian and her family. Lillian told her children that when Aunt Tilly made the rug she selected the different coloured threads by smell because of course she could not see the colours.
Tilly Aston’s achievements are formidable. In 1894 she founded the Victorian Association of Braille Writers, which became the Victorian Braille Library. In 1895, she co-founded the Association for the Advancement of the Blind, which in became Vision Australia. As well as being the first woman who was blind to be admitted to an Australian university and Australia's first blind teacher, Tilly was a distinguished and critically acclaimed writer, producing seven books of verse. Tilly received a Commonwealth grant for her writing in 1935, and the King’s Medal for Distinguished Citizenry twice.