Monday, 6 July 2020
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  • Textile Details

    'New Life', by Ladies who sew (Rathlin Island). (Photo: Sarah Carson)
    'New Life', by Ladies who sew (Rathlin Island). (Photo: Sarah Carson)


    Title of Textile:New Life
    Maker: Ladies who sew (Rathlin Island)
    Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
    Year Produced: 2016
    Size (cm): 117cm (w) X 88cm (l)
    Materials: Mixed textiles, buttons, thread, etc.
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    For generations, Rathlin Island women have sewn out of necessity. Just over 20 years ago, encouraged by Jane Wysner, a long time visitor to Rathlin, they congregated to stitch their stories of Island life, producing a striking 16 panel quilt.

    In 2010, Rathlin women gathered again, prompted by Lily Rose Anderson from the original group. Supported by Roberta Bacic they created arpillera panels, adopting Latin-American techniques to thread new stories of Island life.

    New Life, with new strands in the story, was designed and created collaboratively for the Exhibition: Arpilleras viajeras: Chilenas y de otras latitudes / Wandering Arpilleras: from Chile and beyond. It celebrates this thriving island community which, after many years, thanks to improved services and opportunities, is welcoming new families and an increase in population. In keeping with the title, some of the children recently born on Rathlin are featured.

    As the women sewed they sang and shared stories of Island life, whilst the children played around the table, now and then ‘eavesdropping’ on this rich island lore. The ‘chat and the craic’ threaded through this creative process, gently planted like seeds in the hearts and minds of all present, assures ‘old’ life of a creative and treasured place in the ‘new’.

    Owner: Ladies who sew, Rathlin Island Community collection
    Location: Rathlin Island, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Sarah Carson

    Textile exhibited at: Arpillera Voices and Echoes , 6/10/2016 - 14/11/2016
    Arpilleras viajeras: Chilenas y de otras latitudes, 16/11/2016 - 12/12/2016

    Textile Detail Image(s)