What happens when land becomes landscape? I’m not the first person to ponder this question but I hope that, with Remnants, I have brought new layers and textures to the encounter between the lived experience of place and its frayed representation in art.
The place itself matters. Remnants recalls experiences of walking in the townland of Sillaheen, County Waterford, in the parish of Kilronan and the baronry of Glenahiry. From Sillaheen, I can see the homes of my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. A partially remembered past unravels in famine roads, mass paths, and old short cuts through the mountains. The dense textures of memory press down upon this place.
Working with repurposed fabrics – I imagine the loose lines and deep textures of an old and familiar landscape that I came to know intimately during daily lockdown walks. Sillaheen contains multitudes but the place itself continually empties out, seeming to escape the edges of the image: the work of repair continues.
Graduating in Textile Design, I explore themes of art, biodiversity and place. In documenting my creative process my work as an educator is evident, as I hope to enrich our experience of looking at art. In sharing this, the viewer has an opportunity to imagine the evolution of the work and follow my decision-making process.
Sillaheen Weave Collection
Speaking in pattern, I think of my work as translation, from the seeing to the seen. In my practice, painting is a pattern making tool, where I plan out the stitches and surfaces. Over the years these preparatory pieces have emerged as works in themselves and carry the struggle that I imagine all artists experience between what is seen and what is recorded, weaving together a pattern of dashes and marks that one day become stitches.