Exhibition Opening: 6pm May 2nd 2018 as part of May Fest.
Social Fabric celebrates the use of banners and fabric in Revolution, and includes banners dating from the nineteenth century and contemporary works such as trade union banners from the 1970’s and ’80’s. The banners represent key moments of change in history, from the evolution of the Women’s Workers Union in 1911 to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s. They portray changing issues throughout Ireland and the UK including our present moments of Repeal the Eighth and wars in regions such as Palestine. This exhibition collects for the first time in one location Irish and UK banners in order to chart the rise and the role of banners and fabric works in Civic Society today. In doing so the curator Kathryn Maguire (artist and educator) presents fabric as a tool of activism both contemporary and historical.
A selection of pieces made by Ed Hall the UK based banner maker will be paired with pieces by Jer O’Leary the Irish banner maker, both of whom have an astounding legacy of creating banners for various Trade Unions and other social causes. Ed Hall is known for his significant collaborations with artist Jeremy Deller including the Venice Biennale. The discussion that accompanies this exhibition will question the importance of hand stitched banners used in protests and political processions and their legacy in Ireland and the UK. The exhibition will also include fabric related works by Jim Fitzpatrick, Robert Ballagh, Hannah Ford, Siobh McGrane, and the historic Green Flag of Ireland made by shirt maker Mary Shannon who worked in the Liberty Hall Clothing Co-Operative. Rachel Fallon has kindly run a series of workshops with the local Saol project creating a series of workers aprons and the exhibition includes photographs of banners from the Artists Campaign to Repeal the Eighth that she has worked on.
On the opening night the discussion at 6.30pm in the Connolly Theatre, Liberty Hall will be chaired by Dr Lisa Godson (NCAD) with Robert Ballagh, Rachel Fallon, Hannah Ford, Ed Hall and Jer O’ Leary.
Ed Hall and Hannah Ford will run a banner-making workshop and public seminar (1-2 pm) in NCAD on Thursday 3 May, hosted by the MA Design History & Material Culture and NCAD School of Fine Art. See here for details.