Shadowed Women – Ciara Harrison

The first instalment in the museum’s 2016 centenary programme, this specially commissioned exhibition presents exquisite embroidered portraits by textile artist Ciara Harrison on the second floor of the Little Museum.

The collection features seven portraits focusing on the wives of prominent rebel leaders. These delicate and sensitive works give recognition to the commitment, sacrifice, intellect, bravery and loyalty of the women who lived in the shadows of the 1916 Rising.

The personal narratives of these women have been marked in Sinead McCoole’s Easter Widows (2014) which details the stories of seven couples and the subsequent lives of the women after the loss of their husbands.  This new exhibition serves to visually commemorate the lives of these women and encourages conversation about the different roles of women during the Easter Rising of 1916.  

Using a remarkable process involving the transfer of charcoal drawings from photographs to cotton organdy, Ciara’s methods produce sewn portraits that feel like living portraits; ghostly embroidered faces with incredible detail that rewards closer examination.

“We are really excited to be presenting Ciara’s work as part of our 2016 centenary programme” says Little Museum curator Simon O’Connor. “The tactility of the medium and hand-drawn qualities of her stitch-work conveys a wealth of meaning and speaks to the human stories inspiring these portraits.”

Ciara Harrison is a textile design graduate of NCAD. Her work has been exhibited extensively in Ireland and Europe. Her new exhibition can be seen on the Little Museum’s second floor.

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