The Commemoration Quilt in honour of the 77 women arrested after the Easter Rising is one of the exhibits that has been prepared for the new Exhibition Centre in Richmond Barracks.
Celebrating the lives of these 77 women is a challenge because it is not one story. There are many different life-lines, with complex and sometimes competing narratives. We intend not only to commemorate these women’s involvement in the Rising, but also remember their life-long commitments to equality for women, nationalism and social justice. Their struggles have left an often unrecognised legacy that has been kept alive through the activism of thousands of women across Ireland over the past 100 years.
The 77 Women Commemoration Quilt project is designed to create a conversation between the women of 1916 and women living in Ireland today. A group of 77 women were invited to creatively respond to the stories of the 77 women imprisoned in Richmond Barracks . This group was selected to reflect the diversity of women’s experience in contemporary Ireland. The two layers of stories, those from 100 years ago and those of our own time have been brought together in a Quilt which was unveiled as part of the commemoration ceremony for the women of 1916 on the 8th March 2016. The Quilt is part of a touring exhibition that is travelling around Ireland and will ultimately hang in Richmond Barracks, becoming a permanent focus for remembering the women of 1916 and their continuing legacy.
The Quilt is approximately 3m x 2 ½ m. It is made up of 77 printed and embroidered linen panels. The project was an opportunity for participants to re-visit the motivation of the women who took part in the Rising and at the same time to reflect on their own vision for Ireland, 100 years from now.
The Commemoration Quilt project was designed and coordinated by The Yarn School. The Yarn School is a textile studio based in Goldenbridge. It was established with the mission to educate, inspire and entertain through the medium of textiles.
An important element of the project was gathering as much information as we could about the women of Richmond Barracks. Project historians Mary McAuliffe and Liz Gillis have done extensive research on their lives. However, we are certain that there is more information about these women to be gleaned from the archives and memories of their families, friends and fellow activists. Moving forward, we are keen to find more photographic material relating to the women.
If you have any material relating to the women of 1916, or if you would like more information about the project please contact: Marja Almqvist at firstname.lastname@example.org