Layered Stories/Tracy Watson & Joke Buursma and I’ll Meet You There/ Sinead O’Connell

Layered Stories / New Textile art by Tracy Watson and Joke Buursma
I’ll Meet You There / Sinead O’Connell

20th May – 24th June

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Layered Stories / New Textile art by Tracy Watson and Joke Buursma

Both textile artists working in the medium of quilt making, Tracy Watson and Joke Buursma live and work in Clare and Waterford respectively. Between them their work represents the finest of its kind, with each artist using their medium to stretch the limits and boundaries of textiles through the use of myriad techniques and processes, from Japanese Shibori to painting on fabric with oil sticks.

Though often historically denigrated as a ‘female craft’, in recent decades the art form has been reclaimed by women artists, whether as a form of Arte Util (‘useful art’) or a means of elevating craft to high art. The embracing of such skills has seen quilting used by feminist artists such as Judy Chicago (‘The Dinner Party’, 1974-79) and Tracey Emin. While Watson and Buursma’s work bridges the personal and political, it is unequivocally beautiful.

I’ll Meet You There / Sinead O’Connell
Sinead O’Connell brings new ceramic works to The Courthouse, where she exhibited frequently in the past. The title her new ‘mini’ exhibition comes from a Sufi quote she came across many years ago:

‘Between right and wrong there is a field, I’ll meet you there’
She explains, “Sometimes it says garden but I settled on field because it relates perfectly to growing up and living in Ireland. In using the house as a strong image I also explore the age of the building itself. This house, our house, held people, stories happening many times over before my family moved in. The house itself is a being. It’s bright, it’s dark, it’s cold and damp, it’s warm and cosy. It was too small and then when the children left, too big. This house and its constant need for care came to me to represent my family, my parents and their need for care.Sinead O'Connell image

To watch a family member see their mortality is a hard thing. The relationship changes dramatically for one and subtly for the other. Restraint, regrets, remorse, frustration and pity are kept hidden to co-exist. This series of works are a way of viewing my family story. Also the history there that predates my part in this family. There’s no real need to know or understand the actions taken. Going back through the family history I have had to realise there is no proper ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ but there is this field and that is where we are.”

Events and workshops on Opening Day:

12 -1pm ‘Painting with Paintstiks’ – workshop with Joke Buursma
Learn how to use a new medium for making marks on textiles. Paintstiks are unique as they are made from an oil and wax mixture which gives a smooth slightly greasy medium to work with. They can be applied to fabric and paper. Joke will demonstrate some methods of applying paintstiks to fabric, for example by stencilling, using masking tape, rubbing, etc. Depending on the effect you are after you can apply paintstik before and/or after quilting.

1.15-2pm ‘The Art of Hand-Stitch Quilting’ – demonstration with Tracy Watson
Tracy Watson illustrates just one of the many techniques employed by the quilter in this short demonstration. Those attending are welcome to bring along any works-in-progress to work alongside Tracy.

2-3pm Talk and tour with Joke Buursma and Tracy Watson