Project Duration: October 2012- June 2013
Boundaries was the title given to my final year degree show. The piece was based on research I had done on a small area of farmland in southwest Cork. This land had been passed down through my father’s family for several generations.
I found the original maps which showed the historical boundaries and I also researched the first ordinance survey maps of the area which were made during the 19th century. I made a lot of drawing s but by far the most valuable information I gathered was through talking to my uncle. He had inherited the land and he told me about all the different names and words which were used to describe the specific areas of farmland. These words were never written down or recorded on any map and as a result the spelling of these land names were unclear. Without doubt, these words had derived from the Irish language but without any proper denotation, it was very difficult to work out any meaning. It was merely an oral record.
What struck me was that these words would soon be forgotten. There was no new generation of farm workers for this land and if no workers existed, there would be no need to use the words. This idea of loss fascinated me and I wanted to do something to document this unique local lingo.
I was of course at this stage making lace- another aspect of our culture which is in danger of disappearing! In a way it was fitting that I should use lace to represent this idea of loss.
I made an exhibition piece which focussed on this area of land with a series of lace samples that represented the farmland. The title of each lace piece was the name of an area of land. A map was hand drawn and hand cut and borderlines were hand painted. To convey the idea of preciousness, the work was placed in a hand-made display case, all of which was designed by me.