Galway 2020 | Small Town Big Ideas

Open call for artists/makers submissions to create a public artwork


The Headford Lace Project is a community initiative, established in 2016, to research, revive and reimagine Headford's lace-making heritage, which dates back to the mid 1700s. The project achieves its objectives through the delivery of skills workshops, arts collaborations and community engagement.

The Headford Lace Project will commission an artist/maker or group of artists/makers to create a public artwork for the Headford community and visitors to enjoy. The nature and siting of the artwork are to be determined collaboratively between the artist, the Headford Lace Project and the community of Headford.


small town big ideas galway 2020



The photograph above left shows an original piece of Headford Lace dated 1904 (bottom) and a replica made by our tutor Jackie Magnin (top). It is a Torchon bobbin lace.

The photograph above right shows how bobbin lace is made. Linen or cotton thread is wound onto pairs of wooden bobbins. The bobbins hang from pins pushed into card which has the pattern printed or pricked on it. The ‘pricking’ is pinned to a ‘pillow’. The threads are crossed and twisted, and pins are placed strategically to form the intricate lace pattern.

The commissioned artwork may be inspired by Headford Lace itself or the materials and tools used to make it, or any other aspect of the story of Headford Lace.

See our website and Facebook Page for more photographs and stories to inspire.

The artist(s) will include a strong element of community engagement in the preparation stage and/or in the artwork itself. The nature of this collaboration will be determined by the artist’s own practice and vision, but it is important that the community focussed nature of the Headford Lace Project is central to the work.

In addition to a strong community engagement practice (or product), the artist(s) may have a particular interest in or sensitivity towards at least one of the following:

  • Fabric and textile arts and crafts
  • Women’s history
  • Rural North Galway
  • Lakes and lakeside communities, in particular Lough Corrib.
  • Natural history and traditional farming practices especially flax growing

The artwork needs to be sturdy, weather proof and maintain its appearance over time.

The artist will oversee the installation of the artwork to ensure it complies with all necessary safety requirements.

The artwork should generate interest and curiosity in Headford’s unique lace-making heritage and provide a focus in the town for locals and visitors alike.



The Headford Lace Project has been granted monies by Galway 2020 for the creation of the artwork and the project is seeking proposals that will include artist fees, materials and site works in the region of €8,500.


Project Management

Candidates who reach the shortlist will be notified in early January and we hope to begin work in spring 2019. It is expected the project will be completed by mid-June 2019.