Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Stitch Sisters with Niamh White, Artist-in-Residence at Airfield, Dublin

Stitch Sisters is a collaborative project initiated by visual artist Niamh White.  Niamh is currently artist in residence in Airfield, Dundrum until May 2011 and the residency is funded through an ongoing partnership with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Arts Office.  Niamh’s practice is collaborative and often participatory and she uses domestic materials often subverting their traditional function to develop new meanings.


Open to women interested in creating a legacy, Artist in residence Niamh White is investigating the idea of maternal legacy and the passing on and bequeathing to future generations.  As part of this work she is calling for participants to join her weekly stitching club where participants will work on cross stitch and embroidery pieces, some of which may be personal pieces to pass on to the next generation in their lives. Participants are welcome to join at any point.

Weekly ‘Stitch Sisters’ sessions
Thursdays at 11am in Overend’s Café
From February 3rd to end of April  Free admission

Who are Stitch Sisters?
‘Stitch Sisters’ are a community of women who have joined Niamh to explore the theme of maternal legacy by stitching personal samplers to be passed on to the next generation. A number of core groups meet at Airfield in Dundrum each week to work with artist Niamh White. Others work on their samplers at home working as individuals and in groups across Ireland. We welcome you to become part of the wider community of ‘Stitch Sisters’.

What is the project all about?
The aim of the project is to create embroidered band samplers which will act as a legacy to be passed on to the next generation.  The emphasis for the content of the samplers is women's lives.  Any woman interested is invited to produce a sampler, 9inches wide and 42inches long, on any fabric with any stitches.  She would own the piece and while she may be invited to exhibit with the larger group the piece would remain hers, hopefully to be passed on to the next generation.  The idea is that the samplers become a legacy, of the woman's needlework, but more importantly to act as a portrait of the woman herself.  In the Dublin groups, we started by writing lists and making mind maps of the things we would like to include on our samplers.  Some common themes and ideas include birth dates, children, partners, career and significant friends  as well as quotes, words of wisdom and mottos handed down from mothers and grandmothers.  The sampler should tell the story of the woman who created it, the important things in her life and the time she lived in.

How can I get involved in the Stitch Sisters Samplerathon?

If you would like to work individually or start a Stitch Sisters group to develop samplers all you need to do is email with your name and location and we will add you to our participants list.  We will host open days in March, April and May where you can meet other Stitch Sisters and compare stitches and stories. 

For more details on Stitch Sister, including guidelines for making samplers, visit Niamhs website and blog


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