Thursday, 19 April 2012

What did you take with you when you left Ireland?

The Limerick School of Art and Design is embarking on a venture to find out what items Irish people have taken with them as emigrants from 1850 onward. What did you take with you when you left Ireland?

The college is looking for people’s help as they examine the material goods Irish people have considered important enough to take with them on their journeys all over the globe.

I don't remember conversations about specific things being brought over but these two objects were always there and  I feel sure they weren't bought over here in England...

JFK and Jackie

 This plate was in The China Cabinet, the place where all untouchable things were kept: little nick nacky type things alongside lovely cups and saucers that were never used and we were never allowed to take out. My family never discussed politics so when I was little I never who these two pretty people on the plate were or what they meant to my parents. For all I knew they were relatives back home!

Our Lady
This statue holds a really powerful place in my memory. It stood on top of the wardrobe in my parent's bedroom. The only time me and my sister were allowed to get into our parent's bed was if we were sick and off school - a very rare treat! Snuggled into the "big bed" with a bottle of Lucozade I'd luxuriate in the space, the bolster pillows and the heavy, heavy blankets. But you couldn't indulge too much as Our Lady was always looking down on you: was that belly ache really enough to keep you off school? Should you really be looking at things in your mother's handbag beside the bed?

The best of it is, this statue of Our Lady is flourescent. In the early winter mornings, or as it got dark in the evenings, she would appear to float, as the wardrobe diappeared into the shadows, and she glowed out of the dark. She used to scare me to death.

If you'd like to be involved contact us on 0116 276 9186 or pop in to:
The Emerald Centre, Gipsy Lane, Leicester. LE5 OTB

Click here to view a map of The Irish in Leicester.

1 comment:

  1. Lynda,
    Your blog is very interesting.. t
    This is Ethel whom you met at the Mothers and Daugher's Hankerchief Installation in London. .Unfortunately your email to me got deleted before I even read it due to a spam. Could you send it to me again and then I will reply,