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Common Threads

African Dress for a Teenager, Olanike Ogundare, Common Threads

This exhibition consists of a stunning range of work which is the result of a joint project undertaken by the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life and Mayo Inter-cultural Action group (MIA), and facilitated by community artist Carmel Balfe. MIA is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) dedicated to issues of immigration and integration in county Mayo.

Background to the Exhibition

The project was prompted by a desire to continue and deepen museum engagement with new communities living in Ireland, and to explore the relevance of the museum and its collections to these communities. After an initial familiarisation visit and guided tour of the exhibitions, participants undertook weekly visits to the Museum in October and November 2008. Each week, the women worked with their own individual techniques using tools and materials specific to their craft.

Each participant has brought a flavour of her own culture to fruition through her individual work.

The sharing of craft skills and ideas amongst the group and with museum staff was - an important element of the project. The sharing of personal stories that emerged through the medium of craft was also important and an interview with each participant was recorded during the project.

The Exhibition

The quality of the craft skills and the resonances with the existing exhibitions led to a proposal to exhibit the finished work. The finished work is displayed alongside the permanent exhibits of the Museum.

The Participants in this Project were

  • Faoziya Yussuf from Nigeria 
  • Olanike Ogundare from Nigeria
  • Favour Ezenna from Nigeria 
  • Joanna Kuruc from Poland
  • Natalia Pestova from Russia 
  • Phaw Shee Hta from Burma
  • Hsar Bway Say from Burma 
  • Mi Nyel Win from Burma

Common Threads Exhibition Catalogue (0.42 MB, Adobe PDF) 


Common Threads is located at:
Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo
F23 HY31

An exhibition of fabric craft made by eight women of different nationalities now living in Mayo.

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Country Life

Turlough Park,
Co. Mayo,
F23 HY31

+353 94 903 1755