A textile tapestry that shows shared histories of women from County Down communities has been applauded by the organisers at Glebe House near Kilclief.
Visitors from a range of community groups visited Glebe House for a celebration and were treated to a display of textile panels created by women from across County Down which were inspired by their homes, their families, their work, and their interests. It was a celebration of their lives and their histories.
The programme, which is called ‘Our Stories’, was organised by the Glebe House Adult Programme and funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland.
Glebe House Hct Director said:
“The project sought to bring women from different communities together and teach them how to develop and create textile panels which highlighted their locale, colloquialisms or personal experiences.
“It all came about from the cooperation between cross-community groups from Strangford, Downpatrick, Ballykinlar Forever Young, Hilltown Cosy Club and also East End Ladies which is based in Newtownards.
“The project’s goal was to put together a record of their shared histories. The women who come from different backgrounds and have different lives, were able to use the shared space of Glebe House to work together to create this piece of work.”
Over the past number of months Our Stories was facilitated by Top Floor Arts from Saintfield who supported the women to build their skills in designing and creating tapestry work.
They used the new skills to create designs of the memories of their past and where they have come weaving this diversity together to make a single tapestry. Each panel is different, individually developed using an equal shape to make up the whole work.
The work was supported by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland with funding from the National Lottery. The tapestry will also be on display at the Down Arts Centre in Downpatrick.
Joanna Johnston, Visual Arts Officer, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:
“This fantastic project is a wonderful example of how the arts can bring people together, to learn from one another, develop new skills and share their creative thoughts and ideas.
“And thanks to National Lottery players and money raised for good causes, the Arts Council’s Small Grants programme is providing valuable opportunities for people in communities across Northern to engage with the arts and experience the many benefits projects like this can bring into our lives.”
Glebe House Director added:
“We appreciate the work which the participants have put into Our Stories. Glebe House in Kilclief is a place of sharing and fun. Our Stories has been a beautiful creation which will offer future visitors to Glebe House an insight into the diverse, interdependent lives the women have lived.”
Pictured: Women from across County Down who made a tapestry celebrating their diversity of culture and language. A celebration launch took place in Glebe House near Kilclief. Included are Glebe House Development Officer Colin McKinty and musician Gerry Walsh who provided the entertainment for the afternoon.