'I Worked in the Mill'

I live and work in Northern Ireland. When I was growing up, there were still linen mills all around; the linen industry had set the country on its feet and would benefit generations to come. Today, the mills that remain lie empty; a way of life has gone and thankfully we will never have to endure the hard work of those mills, but nor shall we enjoy the camaraderie, and strong sense of pride in the world famous linen which resulted from the combined skills of so many.

The current interest in our once great linen industry has led me to produce this body of work entitled 'I worked in the Mill', informed by my own family history, stories and memories of work in local linen mills. In this way I acknowledge and celebrate the workers and their achievements.

Porcelain, hand thrown, bobbin shaped figures represent mill workers, each wearing decoration which symbolises their relationship to the mill, their work, and each other.

Porcelain panels representing the mills remind us of those vast buildings and the countless workers who passed through them daily.

©2020 by Anna Smyth