Uncommon Threads - New Exhibition at Samhlaiocht
There's a new exhibition opening in Kerry's favourite little gallery on Friday, February 5th when Filament, a group of textile artists, come to Samhlaiocht.
The exhibition, Uncommon Threads, opens on Friday, February 5th and runs for three weeks, featuring work in both 2D and 3D.
"Samhlaiocht is thrilled that Filament is exhibiting in the Gallery," said Trish Thompson, Gallery Coordinator.
"Filament is a group of artists and it's great to be working with such a dynamic bunch. The exhibition will feature work by eight artists who are all members of the group and will offer an exciting mix and variety of modern and traditional textile techniques which will delight all who see it.
"Textiles can be, by their very nature, fragile and Caroline Schofield, one of the artists whose work appears, uses textiles to examine both the fragility of the human body and mind and our society, which encourages people to obsess about possessions rather than simply being comfortable with themselves.
Jean McKenna also loves working with fabric and thread, exploring the possibilities they offer in creating texture and colour, she dyes fabric and threads to create a rich palette from which to work, while pushing her skills in an experimental way to best express the love she has of textured surfaces. Her recent work is inspired by her garden in winter.In fact, quite a number of the artists are inspired by nature.
Hilary Bell, for example, draws on the landscape for inspiration. She is particularly moved by coastal rock and stone formations and feels the ancient past is hidden in the rocky landscape. She uses a variety of fibres and felting techniques to explore various surfaces and textures.
Sheila Jordan is similarly inspired and is interested in the delicate balance in nature, especially in the colours and patterns found in the everyday landscape. Working primarily in felt, she uses different varieties of wool, silk, bamboo, soya bean and cotton fabrics and sometimes even adds objects she has found. "Felting offers me an opportunity to slow down and work in a very tactile way," she says. "My current work is inspired by the coast where the colours of the sea and the quality of the light are magical with turquoise waters, beautiful stormy grey skies and foaming white water that washes up all sorts of treasures.
"While nature is the inspiration for some of the artists, others are inspired by personal experience. Sarah Dawson's work is informed by a growing awareness of the huge influence which childhood experiences have. Her work is influenced by the transforming experiences of yoga, non-violent communication and mindfulness. Combining photography, textiles, natural materials, threads, wire and clays along with the written word, her work reflects these themes and her interest in texture and form.
Tara Ni Nuallain's mixed media textiles work is also a visual expression of personal experience. She is particularly interested in the marks we make on our environment, both those made deliberately and unconsciously, with her work using mixed media textiles. She also focuses on drawing, paper and fabric collage, overlaid with hand and machine stitch.
Other artists take a more traditional approach. Mary Heffernan, a recently retired school teacher, only discovered embroidery a few years ago, which opened the door into the delightful world of textile art. Colour, texture and stitch are her passions and she feels that simply messing around with fabric and yarn can often be the starting point of an idea. Words are another source of inspirations and she combines traditional hand stitch with more contemporary design and machine embroidery.
This love of traditional machine and hand embroidery techniques is shared by Lucinda Jacob, who invariably returns to textile pieces where the stitching and manipulation has been suggested by the material itself, such as old leather evening gloves, or, on the other hand, by simple graphic motifs. She combines the simplest hand and machine stitching with a layering of fabrics and simple figurative images such as birds and animals.So whether drawing inspiration from the tactile nature of the fabrics, from nature, from personal experience or from more traditional work all the artists have one abiding theme - their love of textile and this love shines through in their work.
The exhibition will be opened on Friday, February 5th, by Una Ni She, a textile artist from Dingle and will be a treat for all lovers of art and textiles.The exhibition runs until February 26th, in the Samhlaiocht Gallery, which is located in the Old Presbytery on Lower Castle Street in the heart of Tralee. The Gallery is open from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, is free to visit and all are welcome.