Image shown: Ciara Harrison

The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is delighted to welcome Ciara Harrison to University Hospital Waterford as the 2017 Artist in Residence.

Ciara Harrison is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design where she completed a Bachelor of Design in Textile Design (2011) and an MA in Design History and Material Culture (2016).

Concerned with gender and the body as well as fragility and the ephemeral, Harrison creates work as visually and texturally appealing as it is subtly disturbing.

Harrison selects her materials carefully and takes heed of their implicit and latent properties, often placing delicate materials such as silk in juxtaposition with found objects like bone and wire. Strongly influenced by Wabi-sabi, she employs processes of natural dyeing and bleach to create an aesthetic of distress and disruption. In this way, as writer Sue Rainsford says of Harrison’s work, ‘each piece feels perilously placed, and so becomes all the more precious for every moment it endures.’

Harrison has facilitated workshops and collaborated with children’s and adults’ groups, including the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland CRAFTed and DesignED programmes, Camphill Greenacres, The Arts in Education Portal and the ‘Poppies for Peace’ event in Merrion Square, Dublin.

Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including the 14th International Triennial of Tapestry, Poland; Source, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Hall; and Seascapes, Knitting and Stitching Show. Shadowed Women, a commissioned series of seven stitched portraits on cotton organdie, was exhibited at the Little Museum of Dublin for their 1916 Rising programme, and also at the Hunt Museum, Limerick.  Her first solo show, Impressions Left took place at the Ranelagh Arts Centre, Dublin.  A work from this exhibition was selected for the RDS Craft Awards and was awarded the category winner for Embellished Textiles.

Ciara’s WHAT residency

According to Ciara, ‘I want to be a listening ear, offering time for a patient, staff member or visitor to share with me a story of theirs, be it from the past or present or a dream for the future. Our conversation will be documented in some form, as I would ask the storyteller to make as we converse, and I would do the same. The hope is that something tangible will remain from our conversation, be it a painting, drawing, knitting, crochet, embroidery etc. that will mark and be a spark of our meeting.’

For further information on WHAT’s Artist in Residence programme see


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