Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Culturecraft Catalogue

The Catalogue is finally (Marcus Swan - such a perfectionist) finished.
It's simply gorgeous, and even has some clever words in it.

Here are a few shots Seliena has posted, I will add the images about my piece when I actually get to keep one, not just look at one.

congratulations Seliena Coyle on curating and driving such a brilliant show.
A fantastic job well done!

It was launched up in Derry last Friday. Posh people there too (Mayors and Bishops and everything!)
Hope more people will get to see it in Kilkenny at the NCG in January.

You can buy it at IMMA bookshop from today!!!!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Sunday, 22 September 2013


‘Decorated’, by Nigel Cheney

‘Decorated’ is a body of new textile artworks in progress by Nigel Cheney that explores the relationships between commemoration and memory. Inspired by the inscription on the war memorial in his hometown of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England he began to research the short life of his great grandfather Corporal William Holman, who died on 11th April 1917 in Bois-en-Hache, Souchez, France. Like countless other soldiers from many countries who were killed by mortar fire no human remains were found or indeed identifiable and his only legacy is that of the inscriptions on 3 war memorials. His letters home have a formality that speaks of a different time, of values and traditions that are in sharp contrast with today’s social media communications.
An interest in the notion of the collector, of medals, commemoration and memorabilia led to a visual research of military insignia, postmarks, archival information and the visual language used to describe sacrifice, service, identity and authenticity. A life long fascination with embroidery and decoration runs through the work. The exquisite gold work of uniforms and the ornate script of certificates and official records provides a wealth of inspiration.

Cheney’s work is a mixture of textile processes. The end result is a rich, layered surface that makes connections from opposing materials. An image of a 19th century soldier may be juxtaposed with a vintage tablecloth. The colours of ribbons may be reinvented to symbolize struggles and campaigns that fall outside of the prescribed order of medals and regalia. The actual cloth itself often has significance, being a found article that is imbued with other memories and meanings. Imagery is central to Cheney’s work and he uses digital print and contemporary technology to reproduce antique photographs and printed materials. From ration books to discharge papers he uses the visual language of ‘official’ records to subvert and play with our perceptions in an attempt to construct new narratives. His aim is to seduce the audience with a sophisticated aesthetic that belies the contradictions represented by the work itself.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013


My piece 'heartbroken' is in the window of Brown Thomas, Dublin for the next month

Monday, 1 July 2013

Made in Market Harborough

‘Made in Market Harborough’.

This 'tape measure' is 13 cm wide and 45 meters long (that's there and back in the swimming pool in the morning!). It is inspired by many things, but perhaps by 'songs in red and grey' most of all.

As a child I grew up in a house with a sewing machine in the living room. A great big  brute of an industrial sewing machine. My father was a factory manager and brought boxes of outwork home every evening, which my mother then sewed together the following morning. The Symingtons lingerie factory in Peterborough was an almost mythical place where countless items were manufactured, visits there exposed me to the magnificence of plenty, of multiples and the patterns that piles of anything can create. We really didn’t have much money, not that we ever went without food or love, and the importance of working hard and respecting your family were the values that I was brought up to believe were important. Stories involving both branches of the extended family were fascinating, accompanied as they were by countless photographs of strange and familiar faces.

My childhood memories are built around this archive of images and are filled with the tactile appreciation for cloth and materials. In particular the rolls of bias binding and the coiled steel boning that were part of mother’s work provided endless hours of fun to play with. I always remember there being tape measures in the house, all types and colours, even one glued along the sewing machine stand, but those with press studs to keep them in a tight spiral were the best.

On reflection I consider that my cultural identity was forged somewhere between twin notions of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘industry’. The number 45 has many personal significances for me, from the speed of a vinyl single on our record player to the fact that at this point in my life I can finally act my age and my shoe size simultaneously.                                                                                        

 all photogrpahs by Sylvain Deleu