Memory Dolls

Open Circle Arts collaborated with Theatre Maker Ita Morrissey and her creative team this year on The Consuming Project, a creative community collaboration that explored societies relationship with fashion and culminated in a site-specific theatre presentation and installation of textile work in June 2017.

As part of this collaboration, Open Circle Arts and Textile Artist Deirdre Harte created a series of doll making workshops, which took place in the social setting of The Goods Shed at MacDonagh Junction.  There is growing global interest in the question “Who Made My Clothes?” and growing pressure for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.

The Doll Making workshops explored the reconstruction of old clothing, that holds personal memories for the maker, of the previous wearer – perhaps a loved one who has passed or the garments of childhood.  New structures were created which extend the life of these garments, creating memory objects in the form of soft toys that will be treasured for generations to come.  Reclaiming material from worn and discarded garments, the very fibres are charged with meaning, they are impregnated with the traces of everyday life, and have the ability to reach personal thoughts, and invoke emotional memory; the imaginative vision explores fibre and structure as meaning through the adoption of a tactile language.

Participants were invited to come and take part, meet new people, learn basic hand & machine sewing to create a 3-Dimensional structure.  No sewing experience was necessary,  the workshops were a great success, full of chat and fun, resulting in a collection of beautiful and interesting dolls.  We plan to run a second set of workshops in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in taking part in the upcoming workshops please contact Sheila on 087 1355318 or email