Kenmare Biennial Lace Festival had its origins in ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’, a series of events, festivals and gatherings of all kinds welcoming people to Ireland during 2013.
From 19 to 22 March 2015 we will again celebrate the wonderful heritage of lacemaking and design established by the Poor Clare nuns in post famine Kenmare in the 1860s.
There is a full festival programme with lacemaking workshops in nine different disciplines running over two days. For the fashion conscious there will be a fashion show, a fashion-able competition and ‘meet the designers’ at the Art & Design Cloister. Exhibitions will showcase the very best in lacemaking and Irish design. There will be a full day of lacemaking workshops including Kenmare Lacemaking for both beginners and experienced lacemakers.
All the events are aimed at encouraging people to uphold tradition, good design and culture. To find out what is taking place during the festival go to the programme page.
The festival includes lace making workshops (3h each) in the following types of lace:
Many thanks to Michael Potter for filming the launch of the Amazing Lace book and Exhibition.
Jacqui Hayes, Limerick Archivist hosted the evenings events, Pascal Pestre, Deputy Mayor of Calais launched the exhibition. Among the special guests was Veronica Rowe, who is the grand daughter of Florence Vere-O’Brien, one of the most important names in the history of Limerick lace. While Dr Matthew Potter spoke about the history of Limerick Lace.
Thank you very much to all who were present, and don’t forget the exhibition will be open until March 2015! The Amazing Lace book is available for sale at the museum and in the O’Mahony book shop.
And finally, the big day arrived! More than 100 people came to the launch. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Pascal Pestre, was the guest of honour invited to open the exhibition. Calais has a very strong lace tradition and it is the home of a lace centre titled International City of Lace (Cite Internationale de la Dentelle). Mike Fitzpatrick, the artistic director of Limerick City of Culture 2014, and Sheila Deegan, the Arts and Culture officer, were also present. Among the special guests was Veronica Rowe, who is the grand daughter of Florence Vere-O’Brien, one of the most important names in the history of Limerick lace.
The echoes in the media were brilliant! Thank you very much to all who were present, and don’t forget the exhibition will be open until March 2015! The Amazing Lace book is available for sale at the museum and in the O’Mahony book shop.
Gabriela visited the “Moyross Threads” group on Thursday, 4 December 2014, to collect their pieces, and found them at work. Here they are after having received their invitations to the ‘Amazing Lace’ book and exhibition launch.
The members of the group were involved in the Communities of Culture programme organised by the Hunt Museum. They expressed their wish to learn more about Limerick lace, and Carrie Lynam from the Kilkenny Craft Gallery was invited by Sorcha O’Brien, Access Officer at the Hunt Museum, to work with the Moyross group.
Here’s the ladies’ work which was exhibited in the Watch House Cross Library and in The Hunt Museum:
This video, also made as part of the Communities of Culture programme, gives an insight into these crafters’ practices:
Eileen O’Caffery’s first communion veil was made by a neighbour. Eileen remembers how the lady had painted all the walls in her courtyard in white, to create better light for the lace making.
The day Eileen brought her veil into the museum was special, and the set up was a real ceremony.
Eileen’s first communion veil
Studying the detail
How does it look?!
This is better!
Closing the glass case
Bringing in the “Enlaced” dress installation wasn’t an easy job! The mannequin had no legs, and we had to find a solution to give the lady the vertical position she deserved. While Gabriela was running around the city collecting the last lace contributions, Suzanna attached the already received ones to the sleeves, including the NFC tags underneath each of them. We finally managed to take a photo of the dress, but the electronics embedded in the table still needed attention.
Where will the dress go?
The mannequin arrived
Square NFC tag? Not so nice!
Where should this go?
Suzanna attaching the pieces
Right arm done!
And the left!
A photo for the report, quick!
It is the turn of the ecclesiastic lace to come out of storage. This is an important part of the exhibition.
For her master project, Suzanna Melinn (currently studying Interactive Media in UL) is working on an interactive installation including a dress and a number of lace-made/lace-inspired artefacts.
Trying to understand better how museum visitors would appreciate and interact with the future installation, Suzanna presented an improvised dress and a number of wearable artefact to five potential visitors (recruited from both staff and students ranks) in the design studio at the University of Limerick. The feedback was extremely useful for fine tuning the design of the installation. We would like to express our gratitude to the volunteers who gave their time!