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Alaina Flynn 1

BCFE Textile Design Student Accepted at Bratislava Exhibition

Congratulations to our second year student Alaina Flynn on being accepted for the 20th International Minitextile Exhibition at the Gallery of Slovak Arts Union in Bratislava. The submissions were of very high quality and the jury of five judges found it very difficult to make their selection. Alaina was the only Irish submission accepted. The opening ceremony will take place on May 23rd in Bratislava. The submission was created as a response to a brief in our ‘Ideas in Context’ module on our Higher National Diploma in Textile Design and Fine Art Practice. Alaina’s statement and images of her piece ‘Celebration’ are included (left and bottom). Following that, we’ve included Alaina’s evaluation of the project.

Alaina Flynn 2

Alaina Flynn 2

Alaina Flynn 3
Alaina Flynn 3

Mini-Textile – Evaluation

“My interpretation of the word celebration, is a happy, joyful time which brings people together. I wanted to focus of the celebration of one’s life through generations so I decided to make a piece that celebrated and involved my own family which in turn also made this project a lot more personal to me. I wanted to make a vessel that signified and appreciated the importance of having a family. So to start, I got tracings of family members handprints such as my parents, brothers and sisters, myself and my nephews. The reason I chose to include my young nephews was to show that without the family my parents created, my extended family/nephews would be different so I feel like that is a ‘mini’ celebration in itself. As I had specific dimensions to work with, I decided to reduce all the handprints in size which didn’t matter once I kept the original shape of each individual hand. I then traced the prints onto dissolvable muslin, and sandwiched a range of threads between it. I then created a seam using a small zigzag stitch. I free machined the hands using a straight stitch in various colour threads, both matte and shiny, mindful of both front and back of the hands. Once I was happy with the layers of stitch, I then began to hand embellish words that came to mind when I
think of family. On the inside of the vessel I wanted to have the words such as support, love, and joy because that’s what I receive with in (inside the vessel) my own family. On the outside of the vessel, I decided to add some of the roles of particular hands like brother and sister, using the abbreviations ‘bro’ and ‘sis’ because
that’s what we call each other. Once they were done, I then worked out the placement of each eleven hands and decided where each word would sit to make sure they were easily readable when finished. I then soaked each hand in warm water to dissolve the material, making sure not to wash all of the glue away so each hand would gel together easier. I used a plant pot for my shape, and draped the hands onto it while wet. Leaving it to dry overnight, I detached it from the plant pot and was left with the mould creating my vessel of hands. The reason I made a vessel was to again signify a unit of helpfulness from siblings through an array of handprints, and as a vessel holds particular things, and family holds one another together, also like the technique I used to hold the shape.”

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