New textile artwork to be displayed in St Anne’s

Thursday August 17th 2023

An exhibition of textile art by Helen O’Hare and Wilma Kirkpatrick, who crafted Belfast Cathedral’s Titanic Pall, will open in St Anne’s on September 1.

This new piece, in Irish linen, is entitled Revive & Renew, and has been created by Helen and Wilma for the second Northern Ireland Linen Biennale, a celebration of the past, present and future of Europe’s oldest textile.

The textile artwork will remain in the Cathedral until the end of the year.

Helen explains: “Irish linen is the foundation fabric for this piece. We embellished the linen with computerized embroidery and hand-stitching to explore the media of textiles on a technical and conceptual level. 

“This piece portrays the displacement of people around the world, looking at current affairs, immigration, survival, safety, despair and also how people can feel an element of loneliness and isolation in the company of friends and family.”

She continues: “The piece conveys the outlines of people, shoulder by shoulder, strength to strength with elements of clothing applied to create a sense of community and also exploring the suffering of war that causes such unforgivable turmoil and uncertainty.”

The Linen Biennale, running from August to October, presents an extended arts and heritage festival, with events taking place right across Northern Ireland exploring one or both of the themes, Revive and Renew.

The Linen Biennale Northern Ireland is an initiative of R-Space Gallery. The Northern Ireland Linen Biennale 2023 is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund – for further information, visit

Admission to Belfast Cathedral is £2.50 (Monday to Saturday,10am-4pm).

Photographer: Emma Hutchinson

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