Visual Artist

Stitch in Time


My Grandfather Jack, known affectionately as Jake, was a Gordon Highlander who was tragically shot by an IRA sniper in Belfast on 28th August 1977 whilst on patrol as part of “Op Banner”, a British military operation during the infamous three-decade period in Northern Ireland known as “The Troubles”. The Troubles resulted in the deaths of over 3,600 civilians and military personnel. “Stitch in Time” is conceptually and literally the thread between the individual and the anonymous, a method of connecting to my late Grandfather who died before I was born. A collaboration with my father John, a Master Tailor, the work depicts two mannequins displaying “number two” military uniforms. The uniforms retrospectively narrate my Grandfather’s military life prior to and during his deployment in Northern Ireland. The work also acknowledges his legacy, notably my Father, who joined the same regiment in 1985. The work features archival articles from local newspaper The Courier, an extract from the book Lost Lives and recollections by a friend from my Grandfather’s section – D Coy. The work also comprises two silk banners depicting the outline of the regimental Glengarry surrounding imagery of the ongoing conflict from both archival material and my own digital photography. The khaki wool banners reveal an inscription of my Grandfather’s plaque at Dundee Crematorium and juxtapose the words “Killed in Ireland” with “He Was a Good Dancer” to humanise the anonymous, my Grandfather.