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The Shirt Factory: Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013

Date uploaded: January 21, 2013

The Shirt Factory
When: 2013
Where: TBC

Led by artist Rita Duffy, The Shirt Factory is a multifaceted art project that takes its inspiration from the shirt factories of Derry~Londonderry. It is a socially engaged project that aims to explore the legacy of shirt making and female labour in the city as a contemporary art experience. Working across art forms this year-long project will work with individuals stitching together a range of themes; history, gender roles, economics and globalization, presenting these as public art events in the style of a pop up museum housed in a former shirt factory in the city.

The Derry London Shirt Project is an act of wise and compassionate re-colonization, it will deliver a series of beautifully crafted white shirts to powerful people in London. Laundry Day will be a vast installation on the celebrated city walls, washing lines pinned with thousands of shirts gathered from all over, inscribed with messages and expressions from the individuals involved, all hung on washing lines around the city walls. A humanized bunting of empty shirts, like wraiths dancing in the breeze. There will be plenty of scope for memories and humour in the museum style souvenir and teashop providing an additional chance to add to the archives.

Other artworks will include a sewing machine orchestra. A Shirt Factory Horn will be re-employed and programmed with a range of narratives, announcing a ‘thought filled’ wake-up call and of course you will have a chance to purchase a shirt made to measure and beautifully crafted by those employed in the services of art.

Rita Duffy is one of Irelands leading artists; she has maintained an art practice in Belfast for 27 years. Over this time she devised works for galleries and the built environment, gaining a broad range of experience and awards for her collaborative projects. Rita Duffy’s work addresses issues of Irish identity, history, and politics, and is often autobiographical. Symbolism, and a strong connection to the figurative/narrative tradition, characterizes her work stylistically. Her work has examined elements of a post-colonial condition and her socially engaged practice continues to explore particular local and international issues. Her work is featured in Women War Artists a major publication and joint project between the Tate Modern and the Imperial War Museum London. She was granted a Leverhulme Fellowship in 2010 in conjunction with the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster.