Collected Presence was an exhibition held at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn in April showcasing the work of three Northern Irish designers inspired by linen. The exhibition celebrated both the possibilities and legacy of linen through the designers very different medium’s; Grainne Maher’s millinery, Elin Johnston’s jewellery and Rachel Fitzpatrick’s lighting.
Maher’s collection, Línéadach, was specially created for the exhibition and included stunning examples of how the material could be explored technically through colour and shape to create exquisite millinery for every occasion. Johnston’s sculptural jewellery collection is an innovative fusion of digital processes and traditional techniques using materials such as acrylics, optical fibres and metals. Through this collection, she hopes to both interpret and honour the associations and ties between the linen industry and the people who committed their lives to it.
Fitzpatricks collection of work was inspired by how linen was used to represent great wealth linen in ancient civilisations. Fitzpatrick uses technical textiles married with various metallic finishes and pigments to create a collection of sculptural lighting pieces and chandeliers.
The exhibition was kindly opened by Professor Karen Fleming, Head of School of Art, University of Ulster.