No Place Like Home
Embassy of Ireland, Turkey / Çankaya  Municipality
Çankaya Çagdas Contemporary Art Centre, Ankara
19/11/2019 - 08/12/2019

This illustrated textile design exhibition explores cultural references and experiences of the designer in her native homeland of Ireland and adopted home of Turkey. By examining various culturally specific visual sources, the designer makes a whimsical exploration of different themes including people, food, lifestyle, music, dance and geographies, which she has reinterpreted as a unique collection of repeat print textile designs.  The designer focuses on aspects of the culture that are disappearing, or that are perhaps seen as less significant from a cultural perspective, and reinterprets them in a new manner.

Some key themes appear within the collection.  An examination of typical male characters in Turkish village life captures a variety of tradesmen and personalities, and within the same range the traditional Okey café culture, classic cars, and the barbershop are depicted. Similarly, provincial female characters are portrayed in traditional dress while Turkish handcrafts of knitting, embroidery, and Oya lace are represented as distinct large-scale patterns. Other themes include traditional Turkish coffee culture, rural life, urban scenes, and market life.

The Irish collection explores a variety of themes both past and present.  Familiar signifiers of the Irish culture such as signposts, letterboxes, and the now obsolete Punt currency are distinguishable.  Traditional Irish dance, music, and the sport of Gaelic Hurling offer a quirky look at Irish pastimes while food culture is depicted at teatime, breakfast and the ice cream van. Urban scenes include pub fronts and the Georgian doors of Dublin, while seascapes of the west of Ireland and the countryside are also presented.  

These works draw on the designer’s knowledge of both illustration and textile design.  By combining freehand drawing techniques with computer-aided design using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, the designer has created a base of repeat surface pattern designs. Large format digital printing is used to transfer the designs onto a base fabric before a variety of textile techniques such as embroidery and applique are used to embellish the works.