The Tapestry Room- Kathi Burke

Sat 25th May - Sat 17th Aug
Garter Lane Arts Centre
Artist’s Statement:






The Tapestry Room is an exhibition inspired by Loftus Hall, the foreboding building that was framed by my childhood window in Dunmore East. Returning home to Waterford after fifteen years, I seek to honour “the most haunted house in Ireland” through a personal response to the devil’s fabled appearance during a card game there in 1785.


Central to my interest is the fate of Anne Tottenham, the young woman who recognised the devil’s cloven feet and was locked alone in Loftus Hall’s tapestry room after the incident where she succumbed to madness in her solitude. My research into the folk tale and the hidden story within it sparked a creative journey where I sought to honour the questions and emotions that Anne Tottenham dealt with on her own in that room before she died.


The exhibition space is inspired by an isolated teenager’s bedroom, and the artwork presents an interpretation of the tapestry room where one card game transformed a girl’s headspace. The artworks blend folklore with contemporary perspectives, addressing themes of isolation, infatuation, and introspection through motifs found in the building itself as well as visual references to playing cards, tarot, alchemy, astrology, religion and various other tools we use to understand fate. In a collection of suspended woven blankets and textile collages, the exhibition invites viewers to navigate a girl’s introspective journey, as she tries to make sense of her experiences from the enclosure of her room.


This exhibition melds storytelling with visual art, aiming to provoke introspection and curiosity in a folk character while creating an accessible and engaging experience for all ages. Viewers are invited to interact with various parts of the show and, in turn, reflect on their own dreams and nightmares with newfound curiosity.


Artist’s Bio:


Kathi Burke, from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, is an artist, writer, and illustrator recognized for her diverse collaborations with children’s book publishers and commercial clients, often under the childhood moniker Fatti Burke. Her body of work is characterized by a vibrant and graphic style, marked by a playful and whimsical approach that resonates with audiences of all ages.

Since 2015, Kathi Burke has garnered acclaim for her vibrant and engaging children’s books, including notable titles like “Irelandopedia,” “Find Tom in Time”, the “Little Library” series, and “What The Dinosaurs Saw.” Beyond her ventures in children’s publishing, Kathi is deeply committed to nurturing creativity and self-expression, with a passion for experimenting with new mediums and techniques, as well as working with young people. She frequently leads workshops and interacts with diverse audiences, inspiring them to explore the realms of art and storytelling with enthusiasm and joy.

Sat 25th May - Sat 17th Aug
Garter Lane Arts Centre
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