Sunday, 1 October 2023

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 made by well known quilt maker Irene MacWilliam lays out 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 stating the issues we have negatively affected in nature and in our wider environment. 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
Location: Roberta Bacic, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Irene MacWilliam
Provenance: Donation from Irene MacWilliam

Textile Detail Image(s)