The Linen Memorial

Memorial for people killed in The Troubles of Ulster, [Ireland/Northern Ireland]

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The Ulster or Irish Troubles Linen Memorial is an ongoing site conscious memorial installation which seeks to re narrate the 3,721 deaths which took place during the fraught period in contemporary Northern Ireland, called 'the troubles'; the artist chose to commemorate those who died during the dates of years 1966 - 2006.

"The dead, far from being gone, remain as a powerful part of the community. How we think about the dead, and the stories we tell about the relationship between the dead and the living, are central to imagining new forms of community and/ or narratives of nationhood."
Please refer to theorist Benedict Anderson on ' imagined community' (Anderson 1983: 15)
Benedict Anderson
Postcolonialism
Homi K. Bhabha

An intimate, yet public, monument to those killed, The Linen Memorial is created on white, linen squares or handkerchiefs, with the names printed and overstitched with embroidery (2004 - 9), and also, with the first names sewn with strands of hair (started 2010).

This troubles memorial is a hybrid memorial grounded equally in contemporary sculpture and funerary textiles. There are specifics to the historical context of the material culture of linen and the socio-political landscape of Northern Ireland.

There are new theoretical positionings (since the mid-1990s) of art theory in relation to sculpture and commemorative textiles, colonial / postcolonial literature (from the British Empire) and its intersection with textiles metaphors, theoretical notions of the public and the private, and the greater visibility of the migrant artist, together with the increased conflation of High/Low, Art/Craft arts practice into an elastic hybridity.

From 2001 - 2005 this Irish or Ulster Memorial to those killed in The Troubles has been developing as a potent artwork memorial for honouring all victims equally. The names are listed chronologically in an effort to pick, unpick and rethread a sense of the fragile, recuperative grassroots work that can be involved in communities emerging from conflict into renewed peace in Northern Ireland.

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If you are interested, you'll be able to find plenty of information about the Linen Memorial at the Linen Memorial Community website.