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Jenny McIlhatton

Belfast born. An artist who experienced both “the Troubles” and the Good Friday Agreement. The power of change along with the personal and communal impact of politics is embedded in the fabric of my world. I mine mythology for characters and stories to contrast the religious zealotry and fear that permeated my childhood, exploring alternative worlds. Expressing myself through fashion was the first step on my love affair with textiles, unadulterated escapism. A desire to be someone and somewhere else.

“You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes.” said the late, Dame Vivienne Westwood and indeed, I spent 10+ years immersed in the couture fashion business, including work for the Dame herself.

Escaping the need for function and following my desire to create in a slow, sustainable way, artwork emerged later in my life. It’s at times intimate and confessional, an expression of communal experiences and grapples with the universal.

Begun in 2021 the iconic women series reflects on the powerful women closest to me. Each work threads symbols and texture from a mythological, historical, or literary character chosen from the culture of the women who add so much texture to my own life.

Repurposing fashion waste saved from landfill I aim to redefine what was traditionally seen as “women’s work” using a contemporary lens but respecting the laborious hand processes to slow down in our fast-paced digital age


Whirled Art Studios 

501-505 Southend Lane 

London, SE265BL


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