Monday, 4 July 2022
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  • Textile Details

    'Play today, Pay tomorrow', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Irene MacWilliam)
    'Play today, Pay tomorrow', by Irene MacWilliam. (Photo: Irene MacWilliam)


    Title of Textile:Play Today, Pay Tomorrow
    Maker: Irene MacWilliam
    Country of Origin: Northern Ireland
    Year Produced: 2010
    Size (cm): 67cm (w) x 62cm (l)
    Materials: Cottons and polycottons. Markal oil paintsticks
    Type of Textile: Arpillera

    This arpillera style piece made by well known quilt maker Irene MacWilliam places her personal concerns about the environment and the different aspects that we have to consider when dealing with this subject. She sets it in the first person by depicting children carrying balloons of the things we have badly affected in nature and all around us. It also shows the footprints of carbon we have left all over the world and the sand watch is showing us that time is starting to run out to repair this.

    It seems particularly poignant that it is a child who carries the huge sand watch, a legacy we adults are leaving them to deal with. Irene Macwilliam's machine sewing skills are very present in her textiles. In her own words: "I am certainly not an arpillerista, though voice my concerns and recognize the power of this kind of textile narrative through my pieces that respond to the powerful arpilleras. I adopt the size, format and concerns, though I acknowledge I have not had such hard experiences as these women have, and sympathize with them and admire them."

    Owner: Conflict Textiles collection. Donation from Irene MacWilliam
    Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
    Original / Replica: Original
    Photographer: Irene MacWilliam

    Textile Detail Image(s)