2015 – R-Space Gallery, Northern Ireland. www.rspacelisburn.com
This collaborative exhibition celebrates craft and design practice based on the past, current and future landscape of Irish linen. Ten local textile-oriented practitioners and ten Celtic neighbours in Wales embraced past heritage and modern style, developing novel techniques and customization including felt making, embroidery, natural dying and digital finishes.
Linen Futures aims to communicate the value of textiles, eroded through globalization, by encouraging design that emphasizes longevity, durability and the timeless quality of linen. Collaborative practice will foster the design and making of products that demonstrate potential for the future production of multiples.
Following a meeting with Johnny Andrews, who has family links to the Titanic and the Irish Linen trade, I decided to draw my inspiration from Titanic’s fascinating story.
The focus of my work was to combine the glamour and opulence of the early 20th century with the serene beauty of the Ship’s now decaying form. In order to create my designs I used photographs of Titanic’s historic artefacts and interior details and developed them into contemporary patterns using computer manipulation.
The patterns were then silkscreen printed onto Irish linen and further embellished using stitch and beading to give the designs added luxury. Irish linen was extensively used on the Titanic for tableware and bedding because of its reputation for high quality.
I hope that my work will inspire further commercial usage of linen and encourage a greater future for the Irish linen trade.