Thursday, 9 February 2023

Textile Details

'Pathways of Life', by Shared City Project, Derry/Londonderry. (Photo: Colin Peck)
'Pathways of Life', by Shared City Project, Derry/Londonderry. (Photo: Colin Peck)


Title of Textile:Pathways of Life
Maker: Women into Irish History Group, Shared City Project
Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
Year Produced: 2006
Size (cm): 165cm x 165cm
Materials: Pieces of material hand and machine sewn onto a backing piece
Type of Textile: Quilt

This six-panel quilt was crafted by the participants of the "Women into Irish History Group", an initiative of the “Shared Cities Project”, set up in 1999 to build relationships between Protestant and Catholic communities in the Derry City Council area.

Between November 2005 and February 2006 these women - many of whom had never sewn before - came together every Monday morning, stitching and committing their stories to fabric. As their individual squares took shape, as they pooled materials and swopped stories, they shared history whilst creating history.

The finished squares, portraying iconic emblems, traditions, life journeys, memories of people, places and events, within and far beyond the Derry City Council area, give us a sense of what shaped the lives and perspectives of these women.

The centre of the quilt depicts two figures in front of the city cathedrals, with hands outstretched, reaching across the divide, with the intermingled poppy and shamrock emblems beneath. This focal image represents the sharing of the city, the sharing of memories, the building of a shared understanding and commitment to a shared future.

“Pathways of Life” was exhibited in the first Conflict Textiles exhibition The Art of Survival: International and Irish Quilts, held in Derry / Londonderry in 2008 and in 2009 was part of the Threads of Destiny: Testimonies of Violence, Hope and Survival exhibition in Nürnberg, Germany.

Owner: Women into Irish History Group, Shared City Project, Derry
Location: Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Colin Peck

Textile Detail Image(s)