Sunday, 3 July 2022
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  • Textile Details

    'Peace Dove', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
    'Peace Dove', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


    Title of Textile:Peace Dove
    Maker: Irene MacWilliam
    Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
    Year Produced: 1987
    Size (cm): 87cm x 97cm
    Materials: Cottons and polycottons
    Type of Textile: Wall hanging

    Made in her very early days of working with fabric, this stunning and colourful wall hanging was inspired, in Irene's words, by: "the conflicts throughout the world which have been recurring." Here, we see the traditional image of the peace dove upended.

    Mirroring the obstacles to be overcome in campaigning for a peaceful non-violent world, the dove is shown hurtling towards rocks as it flies over turbulent waters, with part of the olive branch missing from its beak. The bright patchwork used in this piece infers a sense of hope. Perhaps the dove will regain the fallen branch and fly above the rocks?

    Irene's unorthodox depiction of the peace dove is very apt imagery for the conflict in Northern Ireland in 1987. In that year, the conflict claimed the lives of members of the security forces, paramilitary groups and civilians, with 11 civilians killed during the annual Remembrance Day ceremony in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, when a bomb planted by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) exploded at the War Memorial. With entrenched views in evidence among the main political parties, a peaceful solution seemed remote at this time.

    This wall hanging is also documented in Accounts of the Conflict a digital archive of personal accounts of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland, located at the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), Ulster University. A total of 10 textiles from the Conflict Textiles collection are included in “Accounts of the Conflict”.

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

    Textile exhibited at: Cultural Stories in Textiles, 25/02/2010 - 27/02/2010
    Stitching Peace: An exhibition of Arpilleras and Quilts, 16/02/2011 - 18/03/2011
    Stitching Peace: An exhibition of arpilleras and quilts, 17/05/2011 - 25/05/2011
    ÜberlebensKunst - Konfliktbearbeitung durch textile Bilder, 12/07/2012 - 26/08/2012
    Stitching and Unstitching The Troubles-phase 1, 5/09/2012 - 29/09/2012
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria , 26/03/2015 - 30/09/2015
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria, 8/10/2015 - 4/04/2016
    COSIENDO PAZ: Conflicto, Arpilleras, Memoria STITCHING PEACE: Conflict, Arpilleras, M, 13/04/2016 - 12/06/2016
    Arpilerak: Memoriaren Haritik Etorkizuna Josten / Arpilleras: Al Hilo De La Memoria, 12/04/2018 - 24/04/2018
    ARIPILLERAS: AL HILO DE LA MEMORIA, TEJIENDO FUTURO / Arpilleras: Knitting the Future, 25/04/2018 - 30/05/2018
    Conflict, Peace: Our journey, our future, 14/09/2020 - 31/10/2020

    Textile Detail Image(s)