A Common Thread by Camilla Hanney

11 March 2023 to 22 April 2023

A Common Thread by Camilla Hanney

In this new body of work Irish artist Camilla Hanney (b. 1992) weaves together the social and cultural importance of the Irish textile industry in historical and contemporary times. A Common Thread connects fragments of the past, that have over time become lost, to our present cultural identity. The site specific nature of the exhibition remembers and celebrates the Linenhall’s original purpose as a clearing house for flax and linen produced in the region. 

The work presented recognises the layers of history, affluence and trauma, enfolded in the fibres of these fabrics and the impact the textile trade has had on Irish society. Ireland’s textile trade brought prosperity to famine victims and was worked by the women of the Magdalene laundries. In recent times, Irish lace has adorned The Duchess of Cambridge’s celebrated wedding dress and inspired Alexander McQueen's most recent collection at Paris Fashion week. 

The ceramic components of the exhibition have been constructed using a porcelain flax-based clay, flax of course being a primary component in Irish linen, and the linen thread used to construct delicate bobbin lace. The flax fibres in the clay burn away after entering the kiln, however, the patterns that have been incised and impressed into the wet clay remain etched into its surface, unfolding fossilized memories and time.

Working through ceramics, sculpture and installation Camilla’s practice explores themes of time, sexuality, cultural identity and the corporeal, often referencing the body in both humorous and challenging ways. By subverting traditional, genteel crafts she attempts to transgress and contemplate conventional modes of femininity, deconstructing archaic identities and rebuilding new figures from detritus of the past. By materialising the familiar in an unfamiliar context her work stimulates our ability to rethink our relationship towards objects, threatening the natural order and toying with the tensions that lie between beauty and repulsion, curiosity and discomfort, desire and disgust.

Camilla Hanney (b. 1992) is an Irish artist living and working in London. She is a Graduate of Goldsmiths University Masters of Fine Art programme (2017-2019) and also Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Visual Arts Practice 2010-2015). Since moving to London, her work has been exhibited by a diverse range of galleries including the South London Gallery in conjunction with Bloomberg New Contemporaries, No. 20 Arts, Muse Gallery, Dora House and The Rosenfeld Gallery and Cromwell Place Gallery. Camilla was the 2019/20 recipient of the Sarabande foundation studio bursary. She was granted the UK Young artist of the year runner up award at its inaugural award ceremony which was held at the Saatchi . She received the ‘Committee's Choice’ prize at ‘Exceptional’ an exhibition of recent graduate work at Collyer Bristow Gallery and was recipient of the zealous: Sculpture stories prize. In 2020 she was selected as one of the Gilbert Bayes Sculpture Award winners and was granted the 2020 Irish Visual Arts Bursary Award. Camilla received a Glass lab award in 2021, providing her with a 3 month residency and continuous technical support at the Cotswolds Glass foundry. She is recipient of the 2022 Newbury Trust Craft Excellence Award in conjunction with Cockpit Arts and was chosen for the 2022 Artist initiated projects in conjunction with the Irish arts council, granting her a funded solo show at Pallas Project Gallery, Dublin. Her work has been featured in articles by Crafts Magazine, Ceramic Review, Elephant Magazine, wallpapermag, Showstudio, Mission Mag and Harpers Bazaar.