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Bodies to Soften the Border

Nov. 23, 2017

An Artist's Installation on Blacklion-Belcoo Bridge by Rita Duffy

10 – 13 August 2017

Not actually civic staues but an uplifting intervention in this time of hardening of attitudes to borders and to those excluded by borders, whether physical or mental.

Inspired by holy well amulets nearby in Belcoo, women made a huge collection of dolls - border dwellers, travelling folk, refugees perhaps?


Women across Ulster produced a range of soft ‘furnishings’ out of recycled clothing. Old jumpers have been reinvented as huge soft orbs of colour to dress the bridge between Blacklion and Belcoo, literally ‘knitting’ the Border together. 

Soften the Border was a temporary artwork installation across the North-South Border of Ireland; a response both to contemproary issues and to a history of conflict and separation. Women came together to sew and chat, sharing threads and buttons. Using up scraps from other knitting and crochet creations, voicing fears and listening to opinions drinking tea and helping each other as women do. Collectively they made this little patch of border soft, colourful, curious and comfortable for a few days. 

So, not civic statues, but this work with bodies expresses the spirit of investigation of attitudes that can help to change a patriarchal mindset.