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Stephanie McBride discovers that, like Banksy and French music duo Daft Punk, threadstories is using her own masked identity and anonymity as a riff on celebrity status, or an inversion of it

From online avatars to PPE, we live in the age of the mask, and the early days of the pandemic lockdown brought out long-buried sewing skills and DIY face coverings. This surely adds resonance to the work of the anonymous Irish artist known as threadstories.

With a degree in Fine Art and a childhood surrounded by talented craftmakers, threadstories is currently based in Kilkenny. Her exquisite masks are made of wispy filaments, rope, ribbon and yarn, which she then turns into a gallery of mesmerising and unusual self-portraits. It can take just two days to create a simple piece from scratch; a larger, heavier mask can take a week, though she says much of the process involves reworking. The cycle begins with a crocheted balaclava; then threadstories braids, shades and tufts the threads in a whirligig of textures, whorls and colours.

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