Textile Details

'Lost children of war', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Lost children of war', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Lost children of war
Maker: Irene MacWilliam
Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
Year Produced: 2009
Size (cm): 49cm x 30cm
Materials: Cottons with felt wadding
Type of Textile: Arpillera

Irene MacWilliam was deeply moved by the posters being circulated at one time to help families find each other after being separated and displaced by war. Especially concerned about the lost and displaced children, she created this piece, her first arpillera, to depict their desperation, making the children ghost like, devoid of nationality or race to express that they are living a half life. Irene chose to focus on children rather than adults: “since the image of a distressed child is very emotive.”

Displacement poses real dangers for children. Of the millions of children displaced by war, unaccompanied children are the most likely to be killed, tortured, raped, robbed and recruited as child soldiers.

Much remains to be done to safeguard children affected by armed conflict so that they have an opportunity to live as children, grow to adulthood and contribute to their communities.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: Arpilleras that Cry Out, 22/06/2009 - 10/07/2009
Finding Our Voices -The Power of Arpilleras, 26/09/2009 - 30/10/2009
The Human Cost of War, 8/11/2009 - 21/11/2009
Cultural Stories in Textiles, 25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010
The Human Cost of War - An Exhibition of Quilts and Arpilleras, 4/11/2010 - 15/01/2011
Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes, 28/09/2013 - 10/11/2013
Women 31 , 7/03/2014 - 15/04/2014
SMALL Actions BIG Movements, 1/07/2014 - 11/07/2014
Arpillera Journeys, 6/03/2015 - 12/06/2015
War-Torn Children, 1/03/2017 - 15/04/2017
War-Torn Children , 17/07/2017 - 28/07/2017
War-Torn Children, 2/10/2017 - 27/10/2017
War-Torn Children, 8/02/2018 - 24/03/2018
War-Torn Children, 5/09/2018 - 29/11/2018

Textile Detail Image(s)