New Generation Gallery

Rachel Gartlan

Fine Art, Technological University Dublin

New Generation Gallery 2021

My degree show consists of a series of hand-embroidered lace veils which evolved from a form of social practice. I am from Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, which has a history of lacemaking since the early nineteenth century. Carrickmacross lace was founded and industrialised as a means for impoverished local women to earn a living. At the beginning of this year, I engaged with and interviewed contemporary Carrickmacross lacemakers about their personal histories with the craft. I then embroidered selected sentences from these interviews onto large lace veils. This acts in direct opposition to how female labourers were typically not considered or heard in the days of factory textile production. The material and aesthetic make-up of the work also refers specifically to Carrickmacross lace. By engaging with and representing contemporary lacemakers, this project aims to frame the evolution of a practice which was once prescribed to women, but has now been taken into their own hands.

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by Rachel Gartlan