Friday, 19 July 2024

Textile Details

'The Hills of Donegal - Remembering', by Deborah J. Stockdale. (Photo: Deborah J. Stockdale)
'The Hills of Donegal - Remembering', by Deborah J. Stockdale. (Photo: Deborah J. Stockdale)


Title of Textile:The Hills of Donegal - Remembering
Maker: Deborah Stockdale
Country of Origin: Republic of Ireland
Year Produced: 2009
Size (cm): 135cm x 80cm
Materials: wool, tweed, linen and cotton materials with applique, embroidery and hand quilting techniques
Type of Textile: Wall hanging

This Irish appliqué and embroidered wall-hanging was made especially for the Liverpool Irish Festival 2009. In Deborah's own words: "The images that appear on this wall-hanging are at first glance, peaceful, bucolic, and nostalgic. Golden fields in the foreground move upward to rising hills. Darker, more massive shapes of high hills and glaciated mountains move towards the sky line. A single cottage sits nestled in trees, half obscure, perhaps even half derelict.

To many this is an idyllic scene, something from a picture postcard of Ireland in the past; a relic of a part of traditional and rural Irish history. But to me, it represents a somewhat different history and a different story. The cottage sits alone in a much marginalised farming area. The juxtaposition of a homely house and an awesome, rugged landscape represents a vanishing way of life; that of the hill farmers of Donegal. Humanity seems insignificant in contrast with such geologic scale. Depopulation due to economic and physical hardship, long distances to travel to services and social interaction; these are the fate of the hill farmers. In an increasingly fast-paced and technological world, they have become an anachronism; a relic of a bygone lifestyle. Their cottages, often abandoned when the cottagers die without heirs, become memorials to a lost ways of life; a symbol of entire generations, who worked the land for centuries, living in close harmony with the seasons, crops and animals.

The countryside in Donegal is scattered with abandoned homesteads, the marks of their crops still apparent on the soil, the stone walls sagging and broken, as are the cottages. They are still beautiful, but in a way that serves as a reminder of all the vanished men and women who called them 'home' for so long."

Owner: Deborah Stockdale collection
Location: Deborah Stockdale, Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Deborah Stockdale
Provenance: Deborah Stockdale

Textile exhibited at: Threads of Life: Quilts and arpilleras that speak out, 16/10/2009 - 1/11/2009

Textile Detail Image(s)