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Glorious Peacocks

We caught a glimpse recently of Rina Whyte’s artist notebooks where she explored ideas for her newest works, “I am Peacock I” and “I am Peacock II”. These notebooks are exquisite artworks in their own right, full of colour and texture. Rina uses watercolours, colour pencils, collage, tissue and scraps of fabric to work through her ideas for these glorious peacocks, refining shapes and colours tones, exploring minute details to the fullest.

Rina Whyte Artist Notebook sketch

Inspiration is not difficult to find for Rina as peacocks are kept in her local area and when she sees them in her garden she runs for a camera and sketchpad to capture their elegance and beauty. Rina’s work incorporates both hand and machine stitch and sometimes uses existing decorative fabrics which she embellishes with stitch, beads and applique.

‘I am Peacock II’, Rina Whyte

Rina also uses tea dyeing and bleach to distress the ground fabric before incorporating paint, found fabrics, metallic threads, sequins and beads to create the design. Double layers of yarn are used to create texture and depth of colour whilst still retaining the delicate stitch drawing.

“I am Peacock I”, Rina Whyte

Rina has quoted a poem, The Peacock, by WB Yeats as further inspiration for her work:

What’s riches to him

That has made a great peacock

With the pride of his eye?

The wind-beaten, stone-grey,

and desolate Three-rock

Would nourish his whim.

Live he or die

Amid wet rocks and heather,

His ghost will be gay

adding feather to feather

for the pride of his eye

Know your onions!

I have just noticed a bit of a vegetable theme in some recent work by Dee Kelly, Caroline Fitzgerald and Rina Whyte – and all of it yummy !!  Pungent and odorous, onions and their family members sometimes get an undeserved bad rap but our team are doing their best to elevate these humble vegetables to the place they deserve – on the kitchen wall and not in the pot!

Caroline and Dee produced some beautiful work using actual pieces of garlic.  Who would have thought that the papery, bleached texture of garlic skins and the intricate detail of the root, would produce such amazing works of art.

Dried garlic skins mounted on paper, stitched with linen and rayon threads
Garlic Whimsy I, Dee Kelly

Dried garlic skins mounted on paper, stitched with linen and rayon threads

Garlic root, herbal teabags, handmade paper, markings made with watercolour, cotton muslin, stitched and mounted on linen
Gorgeous Garlic, Caroline Fitzgerald

Garlic root, herbal teabags, handmade paper, markings made with watercolours, cotton muslin, stitched and mounted on linen


Rina has produced a series of three pieces exploring the beautiful shapes and colours of the onion

Blind drawing with stitch on brushed cotton, embellished with hand stitch, cotton net, ink dyed
Onion I, Rina Whyte

Blind drawing with stitch on brushed cotton, embellished with hand stitch, cotton net, ink dyed


Onions, free machine embroidery
Onion II and III, Rina Whyte

Dyed cotton, pen and ink drawing, free machine embroidery

Never has garlic and onions looked so good!  Who wouldn’t want to have one of these pieces on their kitchen or dining room wall?

Spring Renewal

We are just finished putting up new work in Las Rada Wine and Tapas Bar in Naas – a springtime renewal.   It is always a pleasure to exhibit our textile art in this venue and Joanne and Jules have been very supportive of our work since the first invited us to be resident artists in 2015.    This is the thirteenth exhibition of work we have shown in this venue and it continues to be one of our favourite haunts.

Here are some glimpses of the new work:


‘Meandering’, Kathrina Hughes

Kathrina has used Shibori dyed thread and fabric, machine and hand stitch to create this very interesting piece. Layers of texture have been created using white thread on white to form the background over which the darker threads have been stitched.  This piece invokes, for this viewer at least, an aerial image of a frozen landscape, the tracks, the hedgerows, the boirins and hidden contours.  What do you see?


‘Georgous Garlic’, Caroline Fitzgerald

Caroline has gone all organic in this piece using a garlic root, some of its papery skin and a tea bag to create a textured and tactile artwork.  Hand made paper and linen fabric form the background and the colours are earthy and calming.  Definitely one to appeal to proponents of ‘recycling’ and natural forms and colours!!

‘The Hills’, Rina Whyte

Rina has used linen fabrics to produced a layered and densely stitched landscape based on her local area of Kildare.  She has managed to create an undulating, naturalistic landscape through stitch and fabric manipulation that is evocative and very beautiful.

The framing on this piece is wonderful which is something we sometimes forget to recognise as part of the overall ‘look’ of a piece. A really good mount and frame adds expotentially to any artwork

Well done all on the great work.