Lost Lace installation

Artist’s Statement - Lost Lace outdoor installation


Miriam Mc Connon’s outdoor installation Lost Lace is consistent with her other artwork in its use of the personal narrative to communicate social issues to a wider public audience. In this case an individual life lost to covid is represented as a single white handkerchief rose. It is presented along with over 10,000 other roses in a lace pattern in Dublin’s Iveagh gardens.

As she often does, she calls on the personal narrative behind domestic objects to mark events of change in history. In this case, through the objects of the handkerchief and  lace, she relates the objects to the ancient Irish tradition of hanging clooties (handkerchiefs) at the sacred sites of wells in pagan Ireland in the hope of curing an illness.

The use of bedding material to make the roses references the sensitive and intimate narrative of a person’s last days in bed due to the onset of Covid 19. This installation Lost lace is a homage to the human story behind each of these ten thousand roses and urges the public not to lose sight of the individual life amidst the collective and national grief.


'Lost Lace' , Sculpture in Context Ireland 2020

Miriam Mc Connon’s outdoor installation ‘Lost Lace’ compromises of approximately 1777 white roses made from individual white handkerchiefs.

Each single handkerchief rose in this installation references the small cloths or ‘clooties’ that were hung traditionally on trees near the site of holy wells in Pagan Ireland.

The handkerchief was believed to drive illness away by absorbing it. The artwork is a homage to the lives lost due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The single rose is a symbol of devotion. Here this devotion becomes collective, signifying the national and global loss. This installation urges the public to not lose sight of the individual life, the single rose. In this installation Mc Connon emphasises the solitary path of individual grief in unison with the national and collective loss.



2019 - ‘Tama and the Rose’ at ancient caves in Geroskipou, Cyprus.

Miriam Mc Connon’s art installation ‘Tama and the Rose’ was part of the Eco Art project which was curated by the internationally renowned German curator Herman Pitz. It was a project commissioned by the Cypriot ministry of education and culture. Eight artists were commissioned to make outdoor installations in an ancient archaeological site in Geroskipou Cyprus. Mc Connon’s installation compromises approximately two thousand five hundred white roses made from individual handkerchiefs. The white roses have been placed on the floor of a cave at the site of the Seven Saint Georges in Geroskipou, Cyprus covering an area measuring approximately 4.5 x 3 x 2.5 x 3 metres.  The handkerchief roses have been delicately placed in the form a traditional Cypriot lace pattern.   

The roses have been made from individual handkerchiefs that were given to the artist from people around the world to create Mc Connon’s previous public installations ‘Megalo Tama’ (Cyprus 2012) and ‘Touring Tama’ (Ireland 2013). Each handkerchief has been moulded into a single rose and each rose takes its place on the cave floor to form the traditional lace pattern. The artwork examines the collective aspect of worship alongside the solitary path of individual grief and loss. 


2017 - The Cementography project, Public artworks, Paphos, Cyprus

Cementography is a technique that originated in Cyprus. Created by the artist Christoforos Savva and developed later by the artist Costas Econonou. The artist makes a small scale coloured sketch of the finished artwork. The sketch is then drawn onto sheets of polystyrene. Thin strips of polystyrene are used to make a mould of the sketch in which to hold the cement colours when poured. Using a team of people, the cement colours are poured into the polystyrene mould and then covered with cement. After two weeks the polystyrene base is removed revealing the artwork. It is a process that creates a very permanent artwork and encourages collaboration between artists. 

Nine artists were commissioned to make a cementography artwork based on the Cypriot myth of Arodafnousa. Mc Connon’s art work depicts the scene where the King arrives to save the beautiful Arodafnousa from the queen. Instead he finds the queen standing over her corpse with a knife in her hand. The cementography project was commissioned by Paphos 2017, cultural capital of Europe.


2017 –‘The House of Letters’ at the Almyra Hotel , Paphos, Cyprus

The house of letters is an indoor installation that deals with the concept of immigration and displacement. Mc Connon has created a classic house structure (measuring 2.8x2.5x2.5metres) using almost two thousand letters that she has collected from immigrants in countries all around the world. The letters are all handwritten on paper and represent the communication between families, friends and loved ones that live apart from each other.  They are personal testimonies to the reality of a life away from your homeland. The letters expose the emotional traces of the journey of the immigrant for whom the concept of home is distorted and is compromised. The artist has collected the letters, these personal testimonies from this diaspora of people and she has housed them together in the House of Letters.

The installation allows us to contemplate the life of the immigrant. In recent times immigration has had such devastating consequences for many,  in an attempt to counteract  this,  Miriam aims to  express a sense of unification  as opposed to separation as she brings thousands of immigrants stories together under one roof.

In this installation Miriam exposes the rarity of the act of letter writing. Because of advances in technology the act of writing and posting a letter is fast disappearing giving the object of the letter a rare value, a value that is given to something of the past. With this value comes nostalgia and fragility. The installation, the house of letters is built entirely of paper handwritten letters echoing this sense of fragility. This installation allows us to appreciate the beauty and rarity of the handwritten letter as both an object and as a silent speech from people displaced around the world.


2013 – ‘The Touring Tama’ – Public Installation in Merrion Square, Dublin, Ireland

The Touring Tama was commissioned by the Dublin City Council and Dublin City Parks to commemorate Irelands presidency of the EU in 2013.

The cloth itself is the artwork, made up of handkerchiefs and lace that have been given to the artist from the people of Ireland and Cyprus. The cloth measuring 550sq metres was sewn together by the artist. This aspect along with the use of traditional lace adds a strong domestic element to the artwork. 

The Touring Tama was an artwork that aimed to unite two countries, Ireland and Cyprus, two islands, on opposite sides of Europe and to create a sense of solidarity between the people of both nations at a time where they were battling the impact of the global economic crisis.


2012 – ‘The Megalo Tama’ - Public installation – Paphos, Cyprus

The Megalo Tama The artwork,

The ‘Megalo Tama’ was commissioned by Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture and department of antiquities to commemorate Cyprus’ presidency of the EU 2012. 

In Miriam Mc Connon’s installation, The Megalo Tama, a huge handkerchief encompasses the entire tree at the site of Saint Solomoni in Kato Paphos. Tama is the Greek word for a votive offering (handkerchief) that people hang on this ancient tree to offer a wish or prayer for loved ones who are sick or who have passed away. The piece of cloth that covers the tree is made up of handkerchiefs and lace that have been given to the artist from the people of Paphos and abroad and have been sewn together carefully by the artist. Each handkerchief has been a personal possession of somebody and therefore carries its own individual story.


Public Installations