Tuesday, 23 July 2024

Textile Details

'Disappeared', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Irene MacWilliam)
'Disappeared', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Irene MacWilliam)


Title of Textile:Disappeared
Maker: Irene MacWilliam
Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
Year Produced: 2013
Size (cm): 48cm (w) x 207cm (l)
Materials: A mixture of natural and synthetic fabrics - free machine stitched
Type of Textile: Wall hanging

Irene was invited by curator Roberta Bacic to create a piece for the exhibition RETAZOS TESTIMONIALES: arpilleras de Chile y otras latitudes /TESTIMONIAL SCRAPS: arpilleras from Chile and other parts of the world at Park of Memory: Monument to the Victims of State Terrorism, Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 2013. Outrage at the scale of forced disappearances during the seven year military dictatorship led by Lieutenant General Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-1983), seeded this textile. During this period, the number of people believed to have been killed or "disappeared," depending on the source, range from 7,158 to 30,000.

Initially, Irene free machine stitched figures of people onto black fabric. These images were then cut through, leaving voids to represent their disappearance. Through the apertures one can read on the red backing cloth words such as “fear,” “denied” and “disappeared”. The length of this piece is deliberate. It stands two over metres tall, the height of the tallest man tortured to death by the Argentinean Junta, in front of comrades. Overall, this textile is a chilling reminder of the fate of the disappeared in Argentina, in Irene's native Northern Ireland and on a global basis.

Owner: Conflict Textiles collection
Location: Conflict Textiles store
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Irene MacWilliam
Provenance: Donation from Irene MacWilliam

Textile Detail Image(s)