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Re Connected

Island Arts Centre 25 April - 20 May 2023


Preview Tuesday 25 April 2-4pm

Rachel Fitzpatrick is a designer and maker working at the interfaces of art design and social practice.  This exhibition explores the artists reconnection with creativity, colour and tacit making memories after a neurological disorder.


Rachel has exhibited her work all over the world and has a global client base for her design pieces.  Clients include Peugeot, Bergdorf Goodman and interiors designers in LA and NYC.


Gallery 1:

The work within this gallery explores the artists personal journey reconnecting back into creativity, which initially began with making but with an absence of confidence in colour.  The pieces explore this reconnection with colour through making, music and storytelling with some pieces taking inspiration from stories depicted in native folk songs. 


‘Balance’ is a central installation formed of many pieces created to represent the stage before Rachel’s creative recovery.  Shape and scale are explored without colour or in a monotone palette.  Ignite’ is the red coloured piece in the installation representing a regained confidence and reconnection with creativity through colour.


‘Dúlamán’ This large piece around the back wall takes inspirations from the Northern Irish folk songs written about men who gathered seaweed from the shores of Carlingford Lough in South Down. Once harvested they brought it to the market towns of Newry and Belfast to be eaten or used to dye cloth.  Legend has it that these seaweed men would tease the farmers that they would court their beautiful daughters and whisk them away if their seaweed wasn’t all bought up!


'Famine Lines’ These 2 framed pieces take inspiration from the scars found in the Dromara Hills, near the artists home.  After decades of exposure to the elements these are lines of unharvested potatoes which leave deep gnarly trench lines in the rural landscape.  The pieces depict imagined migrations made across seas and oceans to re frame life in new lands.


All pieces are price on request


Gallery 2 ‘Re Framing’ installation charts a cyclical journey of recovery and transformation after acquired brain injury.  It has been inspired and created in collaboration with a group of people who attend Brain Injury Matters.  


Over several months Rachel facilitated workshops with these individuals developing a way to create origami ‘brains’ for the installation. Various materials and colours were experimented with while exploring the origami techniques however it was decided to predominately use bright coloured paper in the final piece.   The impact of the difficulties and challenges acquired brain injury has on life was discussed and acknowledged during the sessions, however it was agreed it was more important to embrace moving forward.  Therefore origami pieces created using white, black or foiled paper were mostly omitted in the final installation.


The installation is created in an infinity loop of origami representing a journey of reframing life after acquired brain injury.  The journey begins using green and blue coloured paper suspended on linen thread representing the community formed by by Brain Injury Matters. We then invite the eye to travel into other bright and positive colours representing positive memories and experiences.  The installation travels back again into our ‘support colours’ of green and blue to regain confidence or to champion others on the similar re-framing journeys in a never ending transformational loop. 


All the work for this exhibition has been kindly supported by the Arts Council of NI through the National Lottery.