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Stitched Legacies of Conflicts exhibition opens in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.

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Textile artist Deborah Stockdale, Curator of Textiles, National Museums of Northern Ireland, Valerie Wilson, Roberta Bacic from Conflict Textiles, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Mayor, Alderman Maura Hickey, Breege Doherty, Causeway Museum Service Officer Helen Perry, Causeway Museum Collections Access Officer Sarah Carson.

A unique textile exhibition has opened in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre in Limavady.

Stitched Legacies of Conflicts explores responses to local and international conflicts through textiles known as Arpilleras.

The exhibition has been developed by a partnership between Conflict Textiles and Council’s Museum Service.

The official opening was carried out by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens, Alderman Maura Hickey.

Speaking about the exhibition, she said: “I would like to express my thanks to everyone who helped to create these beautiful pieces. A number of local women’s group have been involved in the project, including Rathlin Island’s Ladies Who Sew group. As well as being on display here in Limavady, the arpilleras have also been included in recent international dialogues on Northern Ireland and The Troubles in London, Germany, Chile, Argentina and Wales. It is exciting to know that local talent like this has been showcased across the world.”

Alongside the textiles, local images of the Troubles from the Constitution and Chronicle Archives held by Coleraine Museum are also on display, highlighting the role of Council’s museum collections in the project. These were used to help local groups reflect on their own experiences of the Troubles and share their stories through these unique three dimensional textile pieces, known as arpilleras.

The precious works were also inspired by examples from international arenas of conflict including Chile, Africa, Spain and Portugal.

As well as the Stitched Legacies of Conflict display, visitors can also view the ‘On the Brink 1916: Legacy and Impact Exhibition’, by Council’s Museum Service with Mid Antrim Museum Service, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This exhibition provides a chance to reflect on the Limavady War Memorial boards and view silent film footage of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme, provided by Imperial War Museum. Visitors are encouraged to explore all three areas and reflect on their personal and family histories of these conflicts.

During the opening event, the Mayor took the opportunity to launch Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s first Culture Arts and Heritage Strategy for 2016 -2021.

She said: “The exhibition programme demonstrates Council’s commitment to promoting the rich culture and heritage of our area. Both exhibitions promote a deeper understanding and encourage local people and visitors to participate in our heritage. Our new Cultural Arts and Heritage Strategy has been developed through consultation with our local communities, and it demonstrates how we can ensure inclusion and equality, particularly for Section 75 and hard to reach groups.”

Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre is open Monday – Wednesday & Saturday 9.30am – 5pm and Thursday – Friday 9.30am – 9.30pm. Admission to the exhibitions is free.

Special Events

Stitched Legacies of Conflicts: Saturday 26th November from 12noon- 3pm, there will be a finale drop in, with events to include new works, virtual hands on tour of Conflict Textiles website with Breege Doherty and participation in an arpillera workshop with Roberta Bacic and Helen Perry.

Limavady Walking Tours: Alistair Harper, a local volunteer on the On the Brink Programme, will be exploring the stories of local men who served and died during the First World War.

The tours will take place at 11am on Thursday 10th November, and 3pm, Thursday 24th November.

The tours are FREE but places are limited.   To book a place please contact Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre.

Talk: Betty McNerlin, a local volunteer on the On the Brink programme, will be exploring the often overlooked stories of local women who were decorated for their service during the First World War.

The talk is FREE and will take place in Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre at 7pm on Tuesday, November 22nd.

Please contact [email protected] for further information

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