Living Space Exhibition

Living Space Exhibition


Living Space is a showcase exhibition highlighting the latest work of fashion and textiles designers Ashley McNicholas, Hannah Choy O’Brien and Claire Davies. Prowlster’s Jocelyn Murray Boyne caught up with two of the designers to discuss their work. 

Words: Jocelyn Murray Boyne

Hannah Choy O'Byrne Untitled-1 2

The name Living Space was coined on the basis of the commonalities between the work of the two designers. Most of the illustrations by printed textile designer Ashley McNicholas depict interiors. In 2013 she graduated from Dublin’s National College of Art and Design and began a full time position as a children’s wear designer at Dunnes Stores.

For her, hand drawing is an essential tool in her design work as well as a great passion. Children’s wear design has given her the freedom to explore the natural vibrancy of her printed textile design. When she is not working as a full time designer she is creating these beautiful illustrations.

Hand drawn and digitally manipulated, they depict ‘day to day’ objects which she uses alongside abstract forms to create her own visual language.

“Some of the illustrations in Living Space have more of a personal reason behind them”, she says. “But I hope for them to evoke different associations for every viewer. New places and travel provide me with a huge amount of inspiration and many of the illustrations in this exhibition are inspired by places I’ve visited in the present year.”

According to McNicholas, this series is by no means an end point. “I hope to continue as I have been going up until Living Space and hope to have many more chances to showcase my work. I have further ideas to develop in the future which you will see at my next show!”

Ashley McNicholas orange-

The theme of interiors also features strongly in the work of Hannah Choy O’Byrne. Also a graduate of NCAD, she received her degree in Fashion Design in 2014. Since then she has also been working as a children’s wear designer with Dunnes Stores.

Her collection entitled Playful Boundaries carries on with the theme of her graduate collection for which she experimented with traditional and interior fabrics to create dramatic shapes and an overall playful aesthetic.

All our preconceived notions of traditional fabrics are challenged in this collection as upholstery fabrics and traditional checks are revitalised and employed in a collection of sportswear silhouettes.

The collection will be on show along with a selection of photographs by photographer Clare Davies. Choy O’Byrne intends to continue this collection by introducing both unisex shapes and outerwear while retaining the use of unconventional fabrics in this sportswear aesthetic Living Space opens this Saturday the 27th of June in The MART Gallery, 190a Rathmines Road Lower at 6pm. All welcome.