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King’s Inns Library: 21 April 2015

COVER TO CANVAS ARTIST OF THE DAY – Cliodhna Quinlan, Textile Artist & Painter

COVER TO CANVAS ARTIST OF THE DAY – Cliodhna Quinlan, Textile Artist & Painter

Cliodhna Quinlan’s art is very much grounded in the feminine, the tactile, the thought provoking. Her work embodies the layer upon layer of any given concept, difficult to express in words, unsatisfactory in words, and yet expressed in its entirety artistically. Her inspiration for the ‘Cover to Canvas’ project deals with the feminine position in society.

Cliodhna tells us about her inspiration… 

Art work titles

The Wedding Shirt (Embroidery)

The Iron (Print)

These pieces are a response to the book of Irish Pedigrees by O’Hart. I was struck by the complete absence of the feminine apart from the occasional note that someone’s daughter married into a line but really it is a list of men going backwards in time and the women have become invisible, they do not exist, they are outside of time. The same could be applied to the library as a whole, women historically have had no say in the law–making or the application of this law in Ireland and indeed whole swathes of it would not even apply to them as generally they were not property owners or business owners and were not taken seriously in the creative sphere.

I wanted to juxtapose the text from the book with images that were distinctly female and so I used the image of the iron in the engraving (‘The Iron’). Alongside it, in the embroidery, I burnt the iron onto a man’s shirt and smudged it with ash, blood and coal. In the embroidery (as in ‘The Iron’) I put excerpts of text from the book and then I layered the female over it. I call it ‘The Wedding Shirt’. It can never actually be worn, but it holds the feminine in place in a ceremony that historically calls for her to give away what little power she had.

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