Lace Matrix 2024: Cyclogenesis

 Video by Aengus McMahon

The idea for the second iteration of Headford Lace Project's Lace Matrix comes from the most common topic in the world: weather. Though not just any weather, but the Irish and the extreme. Ireland can be considered sort-of-a breakwater from Atlantic to Europe. If one looks at the weather satellites it can be seen that, considering weather, it is also quite often a vortex for the winds. These whirling masses of air and rain create what we know as the Irish weather.

Headford lace, as basically most of the laces around the world anyway, are a result of culture travelling back and forth. Just like culture, weather knows no country borders. Air particles travel here and there and occasionally vortexes drastically accelerate this mixing. So have the lacemaking patterns, techniques and traditions too mixed up throughout the centuries. The culture is universal, though it always has a local level too. Just like drawing air from the northern Europe, Headford Lace Project has attracted Finnish lace artist Tarmo Thorström to mix up Irish lace scene. And afterwards, he will take influence from Headford, not only to remix again in Finland but also everywhere he goes. The interaction is neverending.

Lace Matrix, designed by Róisín de Buitléar in 2021, has the shape of a heart. On the surface it can symbolize love, affection and passion, but also a pulse, heartbeat on an abstract level. From weather talk, we can widen up the interpretation to say we are living now within a heartbeat. The pulse can also cover the critical times humanity and the Earth are currently going through. The passing between two heartbeats in one person's lifetime is similar in scale to Mankind's influence within the timeline of Earth. Within a tremendously short time humanity has altered the conditions for life. Climate change has increased and will continue increasing the frequency of extreme weather phenomena.

Lace Matrix was finished on 21st November 2021. Only a couple weeks later in December, Ireland was hit by a weatherbomb, Storm Barra's explosive cyclogenesis. It brought damaging wind gusts over 120km/h and caused floods, power cuts and disruption to travel as well as damage to property and trees across Ireland. Many things got destroyed, but the heart-shaped Lace Matrix, an artwork done by a group of dedicated and passionate people, persevered. Headford lacemaking has seen war, famine and industrialisation. Despite all the difficulties, resilient lace has endured and is still here.

The Lace Matrix 2024 is inspired by the satellite wind maps of Storm Barra on 7th December 2021.

Click here for more about Lace Matrix.

One of the biggest issues that has faced us when researching the history of Headford Lace, has been the paucity of names and faces of the original lacemakers of Headford. Through painstaking research we have identified fewer than 20 names and just 2 photographs. With that in mind, and with a view to future historians, here is a list of the lacemakers who made 'Lace Matrix 2024: Cyclogenesis'.

Original Lace Matrix Concept and Design by Róisín de Buitléar. Construction by Forge metal works. Cyclogenesis design by Tarmo Thorström.

Lacemaking Legends

Ann Johansson, Anne O'Hara Quinn, Cait Mcmahon, Colette Kelly, Cindy O'Connor, Eilís Nic Dhonncha, Elizabeth Dargie, Elizabeth O'Connor, Ester Kiely, Fiachra Ó Broin, Giulliana Victor Harte, Gráinne Ní Bhroin, Jackie Magnin, Mari Moran, Marina Postir, Norma Owens, Tarmo Thorström

Have a go Heroes - who contributed a few stitches with support.

Aengus Mc Mahon, Aígréne Harttung-McCabe, Arlene Cloud, Dr Brega Webb, Bríd Ní Chába, Chloe Fitzpatrick, Cian Murphy, Daire Nic Chába, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Dolores Kyne, Eimear Nic Chába, Elizabeth Azevedo, Ella Fitzpatrick, Emily Geraghty, Fionn Ó Broin, Fran Breeveld, Ger Henry Hassett, Karolina Jaglowska, Liam Collins-Jones, Mary Comber, Mary Jo Murphy, Garda Michael O'Malley, Niamh Monaghan, Selma Makela, Sophie Fitzpatrick, Teresa Eagleton, Tina from Westport.

Superhero Sewists

Anne O'Hara Quinn, Dolores Kyne, Eilís Nic Dhonncha Ger Henry Hassett, Mary Comber, Tarmo Thorström

Technical and Moral Support - from drilling holes to helping raise and lower the boards, to supplying just the right thing at the right moment and plenty of jobs in between.

Aengus Mc Mahon, Cllr Andrew Reddington, Deirdre King, Ferg Hassett, Fionn Ó Broin, Marcus Byrne, Mardalena Krasniqi, Cllr Mary Hoade, Members of Headford Mens Shed, Michael Harte, Noreen Fitzpatrick, Pat Monaghan, Teresa Eagleton, Theresa Kelly.

As you can see - it took a town! Thanks a million to you all. We couldn't have done it without ye. Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine!

tarmo thorstrom cyclogenesisTarmo Thorström working on Lace Matrix 2024: Cyclogenesis.