St Brigid’s cloak is central to the story of how she founded her church and became one of Ireland’s patron saints.
Her legendary cloak is often depicted as a patchwork of colours and materials, reflecting the diversity and inclusivity of Brigid’s values and her work.
Forty artworks were received in Dublin from a range of locations including Abuja, Budapest, Cairo, Kyiv, and Shanghai, symbolically reflecting the spread of Ireland’s diplomatic network, while illustrating the power of creative expression to form connections.
The pieces were combined by the Irish Patchwork Society as featured in the video, and the final artwork is on display at EPIC, The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin.
Artwork and textile artists
View gallery of works here, rollover for details about the artist.
Cecila Gyebi is from Ghana. Her artwork is about a village that lacks the resources they need but after St Brigid the people were able to obtain them.
Mrs Tinuola Yusuf uses plain cotton and transforms into the perfectly woven threads which is proof of craftsmanship from Africa.
Ruth Girmay drew from both Celtic and Ethiopian cross imagery. The intertwined latticework of Ethiopian crosses is said to represent everlasting life.
Zeynep is an abstract expressionist that tries to see the light and the place it illuminates, the waters of the sea, nature in the oil blue of the night.
Meryem Tomak works on creating experimental and original textures by using different techniques.
Iris Plaitakis' work is a meditation on pattern. Pattern resists narrative and privileges the visual.
Jennifer Byram's design recalls the 1847 gift of $170 from the Choctaw people to aid the Irish people during the Potato Famine.
Niamh Cunningham works with light and transparency and explores the space between the known and the unknown,
Lucy Bowen's piece is embroidered on linen woven in Brandenburg but grown and spun in Ireland.
Imelda Quinlan focused on how the light of the sunrise illuminates the chamber of the mound of the hostages in co. Meath.
Natalie Forrester used leather off cuts, unused from the fashion industry and aims to use what we have in its entirety, recycle, re-use, waste less.
A collaboration between Christopher Mahon an Irish sculpture artist based in Cairo and Rahama Attia an Egyptian tailor employed by Almah/Egyptian Clothing Bank.
Nimble Thimbles made a piece out of cotton, and the shapes are cut, fused and appliquéd onto a midnight blue batik background.
Dar Es Salaam
Helen Espey and Handmade from Tanzania made this patch from hand woven fabric made from cotton grown in Tanzania.
Nikkita Morgan is a mixed media textile artist based in Edinburgh, who predominantly works in her studio using a diverse range of art, design and craft approaches.
Stefanie Bruening used golden - yellow embroidery on photographs of Irish landscapes printed on canvas, to represent St Brigid’s magically expanded cloak.
The Finnish Irish Society designed and made this patch for the Embassy of Ireland, Finland.
Vania Gracia's piece uses pre-waste textiles from textiles samples. Indonesian's traditional batik and weave textile are present in this piece.
Olha Shershun made embroidery, because it represents Irish traditions and at the same time it carries a symbol of protection.
Aisling Brehony named her piece A Malawian Mama for all the incredible Malawian women who are the backbone of Malawi.
Inês Casaca researched the life and work of St Brigid for inspiration of the compilation of symbols which feature in the piece
The Mumuni Women’s Club produce a variety of small sewn handicrafts made from local “chitenge” fabric.
Paola McKenna dedicates her creativity and time to Studio Folklore, an artisanal textile workshop based in Lavapies in Madrid.
Lucinda Hogan honours Irish-Mexican relations with Mary of the Gael’s Sun shining upon the Virgin of Guadalupe’s cherub.
Christine Omollo creates clothing from African fabrics, using environmentally sustainable sources.
Miriam McConnon has chosen symbols and objects that refer to St Brigid’s life story and woven them into a painted lace pattern.
Kirsten Hasselknippe used an old Norwegian pattern, with colours influenced by the stained-glass panel by Harry Clarke of St Brigid.
Paula Ferro, and the Yao Crochet project - a group of 28 women knitted the colourful squares and small lion head framed by “capulana”, traditional African fabric.
Michelle Boyle's contribution to this St Brigid’s Day collaborative piece is a continuation of her work around the lives of women
Pat Rogan is from Sligo originally and moved to Toronto with her husband and four children in 1973.
Rebecca Devaney's art practice is inspired by poetry and she explores women’s experience of the social constructs of beauty and femininity.
Inga Stikute used right-hand and left-hand knitting technique, in the colours of the Latvian National Flag: white and red with woollen threads produced in Latvia.
LisaRuth Elliot's piece consists of silk and cotton dyed with native plants of the Franciscan bioregion, within which San Francisco is located.
Melania Lynch focuses her attention on existential issues, questioning the relationship between humans and nature.
Liu Qiuyan is currently the Director of Haiyun Cheongsam Association, and Art Director of Shanghai Yipu Culture.
Rynna Shazrina reimagines her rich culture through her own eyes by implementing high-spirited colours and playful textures in her designs.
Anna Nillsson's main inspiration for art and embroidery in particular comes from her maternal grandmother Maja, who was an avid embroiderer.
Keiko Nagata began training in the traditional Hirose Kasuri indigo dyeing and weaving technique under her father, Kei Amano.
Roisin Sheehy-Culhane has spent many years living on Canada’s West Coast where she has developed many unique designs and patterns.
Iweta Kulczycka loves Irish culture and traditional music. While still in Poland, she was a singer in an Irish traditional band DUAN.
Common Threads is the Department of Foreign Affairs’ global art project to celebrate Lá Fhéile Bhríde | St. Brigid’s Day.
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