Irish poet and novelist Ciaran Carson wrote his poem Belfast Confetti in 1987. Carson witnessed the violence and heartache of The Troubles in the late 20th century in Northern Ireland. The Troubles marked the culmination of religious, socio-political, cultural, and national conflict as it fell into tumultuous violence, particularly in Belfast.  His poem describing the distress felt during the Troubles is the inspiration for this cloth.

The artwork done for the weaving is made of vacuum-formed plastic. Broken and "lost" objects are cloaked in white. A monochromatic veil makes strange conglomerate forms of these objects. The forms are interrupted by hazardous yellow and black tape to reflect the confusion and disruption at work within the poem. As the majority of people affected by the troubles were young men the cloth is designed to be a men's coating fabric woven in lambswool and bonded nylon.

 

Suddenly as the riot squad moved in, it was raining exclamation

marks,

Nuts, bolts, nails, car-keys. A fount of broken type. And the

explosion

 

Itself - an asterisk on the map. This hyphenated line, a burst of

rapid fire...

I was trying to complete a sentence in my head, but it kept

stuttering.

All the alleyways and side-streets blocked with stops and colons. 

 

I know this labyrinth so well- Balaclava, Raglan, Inkerman, 

Odessa Street-

Why can't I escape? Every move is punctuated. Crimea Street.

Dead end again. 

A Saracen, Kremlin-2 mesh. Makrolon face-shields. Walkie-

talkies. What is

My name? Where am I coming from? Where am I going? A

fusillade of question-marks.

 

Ciaran Carson, Belfast Confetti, 1987


Images by Patrick Han