Inspired by the subtle colours and textures of the Irish Landscape.
Creating contemporary framed wall art using traditional fabrics and yarns.
I've always loved fabrics, yarns and all things textile... childhood memories of summer holidays in Donegal are not of balmy days spent on a beach but of my grandmother and aunts busily knitting aran sweaters sitting by the range. We'd return from holiday with hanks of aran wool which my mother would transform into sweaters or cardigans for all the family. I'd patiently hold these hanks for her as she wound them into neat balls of wool in preparation for knitting. I still remember how excited I was to get my own pair of knitting needles and cast on those first few stitches - my textile journey had begun!
Stitch and craft featured strongly from an early age at school. We practiced our sewing stitches on pristine poplin squares that didn't remain pristine for very long! We progressed to making little cotton aprons, embroidered cushions, knitted tea cosies and so much more - craft afternoons were a firm favourite with me. The desire to be creative has remained with me throughout my life - be it dressmaking, interior design, paper crafting - I've always had something on the go.
As a mature student I returned to college to study Design, Fashion and Textiles, first at Drogheda Institute of Further Education and then NCAD where I followed the CEAD programme. I loved all my textile modules, in particular Embroidery, Printed Textiles and Fabric Manipulation. Throughout this journey I've focused on merging my passion for textiles with my love of the Irish landscape.
I've always been drawn to natural fabrics, my preferred base to work on is Báinín, a traditional Irish fabric which is an undyed, woven 100% natural wool fabric. I'm also drawn to colourful Donegal tweeds that reflect the Irish landscape. These traditional fabrics have become my canvas. Onto this canvas I layer merino wool, silk fibres, hand painted silks and select yarns to create artwork that is my personal response to this beautiful landscape that I'm so lucky to live in.
Working with images that I have taken myself is important to me - I always have my camera to hand - this gives me a personal record to work with. My aim is not to recreate the image that I've captured but to extract what I feel is the essence of what I see.