Monday, 22 July 2024

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 (w) x 97cm (l)
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 collection
Location: Conflict Textiles store
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh
Provenance: Irene MacWilliam

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 , 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
The Troubles and Beyond, 20/12/2021 - 28/06/2022
The Good Friday Agreement: Work in Progress, 12/04/2023 - 16/04/2023
Stitching Memory: Commemorating 50 years of solidarity in Scotland, 20/05/2024 - 31/05/2024

Textile Detail Image(s)