The Workhouse Mapestry, Callan, 2013
An embroidered drawing, which was nick-named the "Mapestry" by its creators, was the medium chosen to represent the investigations and proposals made by the LiD Architecture workshop as part of the Workhouse Assembly 2013. The workshop examined in detail the patterns of life and appropriation of the Workhouse Enclosure, including the horticultural activities of the Camphill Community, the self-seeded shrubs and trees that have formed habitats for wildlife, the Co. Council social and sheltered housing built in the 1990s, more recent uses as artists studios, joinery workshops, exhibition hall, and circus/ fairground. From these observations, a number of proposals were developed for subtle interventions and incisions designed to increase potentials for the overlaying and enhancement of the current appropriations, as well as the possibilities for connections and cohesions more widely with the town of Callan itself.
With the input of textile artist Dee Harte, methods were developed including reworking the threads of the base fabric into the piece to indicate the 'ghosts' of former buildings; couching-down unraveled yarns to represent the varied vegetation; the use of curved quilting needles and reverse stitching from the rear of the piece that allowed this scale of embroidered image to be worked on my up to ten people at a time.
Images by Brian Cregan
The "Mapestry" is on display at the Describing Architecture Exhibition: