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New Case Study: The Hold
Artist Mary Sullivan, The Hold (2022), a collaborative project involving 24 Bere Island women, Image of one lady's favourite object. Photograph by Jed Niezgoda. Courtesy Mary Sullivan.

New Case Study: The Hold



The Hold: Mary Sullivan and Bere Island Women Create

Funded by the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by Create 

The Hold (2020 – 2022) is a project that forefronts the act of community, creativity, and collaboration in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, where an unravelling of social and communal cohesion is prevalent in a global context. The Hold illustrates a symbolic coming together of twenty-four full-time female residents of Bere Island through quilting, sound recording, and diary writing.

Consisting of twenty-four patches created by each member of the group, the quilt created by Bere Island Women Create, represents the personal perspective of each woman in relation to her lived experience of island life. The type of fabric, the story it tells, and its connectivity to other patches all combine to create a visual storyboard of unique experiences. These individual experiences intertwine in the finished quilt to reimagine a renewed sense of community, strengthened by a shared journey.

Sound diaries and written words highlight the often undocumented mundanities of daily life and sounds that usually fade into the background. The Hold brings together an array of words, sounds, voices, music and silence, forming a new pattern or roadmap for the current climate, as well as  a holistic view of island life.

The Hold stitches together the lives of women at a time when the threads of community life are frayed and island women look for opportunities to remain connected with one another.


Read the full case study here.

related programme
Artist in the Community Scheme