Growing up in Catholic Ireland, Irish designer Aoibhe Maguire expresses how this experience has shaped her work and influences. Her collection - ‘ Sin Inherited’ explores the stark visual experience of faith and the biblical preoccupation with the body as a vehicle of teaching; combined with her childhood literal interpretation of the scripture’s - unclean hands, teeth, breasts-milk and honey, flailing tongues, blood as sacred and flesh as consumable. This paints a macabre interpretation of faith and is reflective of the childhood fear of sin and of it retribution.
Maguire’s belief that sustainable practice’s are an act of environmental and heritage conscience-ness is reflected in her use of and her materials - old Irish linen bedspreads, second-hand curtains and tablecloth’s, along with natural Donegal wool. Petticoat’s and pleated tulle interpret’s the ‘big-ness’ of immaculacy, with visual references to communion marches, Aran Island traditional dress and Claddagh fishing village gatherings. The constant reference to the ‘Flesh’ is mimicked in the use of hand-made silicone breasts pieces, ears and tongues. With miniature silicone babies, beheld to breasts. White, black, red and gold chaplets are accessorized throughout. Head covering with various bonnets and veils, embroidered with biblical scriptures in ancient ogham speaks to the intense research methods Maguire has undertaken how it is of historical importance to her work. The emagulation of ancient celtic references and fierce christian morality illuminates the of intricate cultural and religious protocols that have framed Maguire’s work.
The collection is a reflection of intense inner-questioning and story-telling of Maguire’s past, her discernment of the present and hopefulness for the future. Reference’s to inherited immorality paint an image of fearful divine retribution, but also a recalcitrant at the aged traditions of ‘immorality’.An ardent respect for her ancient heritage and kinship is reflected in the softness of the handcrafted silicone pieces, moulded by her sister and cropped wool t-shirts, crocheted by her mother. The religious empathic notion of ‘to-be-beheld’ and ‘out-stretched hands’ is contrasted by trepidation of divine consequences. The result equates to unattainable levels of purity and a revulsion at the ‘unholy’ body and her continued search for reverence and immaculacy.