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Áine Byrne

MA work


My work for my final MA project is concerned with exploring the human life cycle. I am creating these oversized shrouds in many layers, each representing a period of human existence through the specific use of colour, material and symbolism. These coverings will engulf the human body, with each layer progressively revealing a more elaborate and embellished hand-worked textile.

In my research I have been influenced by various life and death ceremonies, including Egyptian mummification where highly luxurious fabrics were contained within the inner layer of the corpse's shroud, facing the wearer in order to entertain in the journey to the after life.

Fascinated with the mutability of the human experience and the many metaphorical and physical layers of skin worn and then discarded within the life of a person the use of textiles, I wish to highlight and externalise the inner layer of the human spirit. I want these fabricated coffins that will consume the wearer to be filmed on people gradually pealing each covering off revealing the layers beneath.

My project utilises a variety of textile techniques, including hand weaving on the loom on a large scale, refined jacquard fabrics and large-scale screen-printed fabrics. The layers begin with bright industrial plastics; rough hessian that gradually reveal more hand manipulated decorative fabrics, gradually getting softer and more refined before ending with luxurious silks close to the body.


  • MA Degree


    School of Design


    MA Textiles, 2015



  • Áine Byrne is a woven textile maker and designer from Dublin, Ireland. Her current work is concerned with looking at the cycle of life and death; how the body is clothed, covered and swaddled. Inspired by the use of bright pigments used in Day of The Dead ceremonies and the sometimes irreverent approach to death in Irish wake tradition, Áine wants to create fabricated garments to be worn, peeled off and discarded, to be entertaining during the journey to the after-life. Each textile is created using contrasting natural and synthetic fibres; shapes and colours are embedded and interwoven into the designs, some elements of which won’t biodegrade in the earth when buried, so that memories remain. In creating these multi-layered life and death shrouds, Áine Byrne invites the wearer to take part in this rite of passage and to celebrate the vivid and primal nature of the human existence.

  • Degrees

  • BDes Textiles, National College of Art and Design Dublin