Mary Heffernan


‘What Lies Beneath’

Mary Heffernan is a retired teacher of French and a part-time textile artist. She completed the City & Guilds Craft & Design for Embroidery, level 3, in 2007. On completing the course, she and her class colleagues founded the textile art group Filament.  In 2010 she completed a FETAC portfolio preparation course in Fashion & Textiles at Colaiste Ide in Dublin.

She has always been interested in the social and emotional meaning of clothes and other textiles and in the bonding created by them especially between parents and their children. Making and embellishing clothes for her daughters led her to consider the emotional life of clothes and her first textile art pieces were made using fabric from special occasion garments from the lives of her family. In these pieces, viewers can see the illustrated story, while the family can see all the other stories and memories preserved in the fabrics.

She is inspired by images from poems and often includes text her pieces.  Her design ideas explore poetic images.  She likes to use hand stitching and to follow where the union of cloth, stitch, texture and colour can lead.

Her present work is based around The Mill project with Filament artists, where she is exploring the massive mill machinery, with its wheels, cogs and axles, all now still, but haunted by movement.


2012   “The Mill” Filament group studio exhibition, Knitting & Stitching Show, Dublin

2011   “Latitudes”, Airfield House, Dundrum, Dublin

2010   “Uncommon Threads” Graffon Gallery, Castle Espie, Co. Down

2010   Graduation Exhibition at Colaiste Ide

2010   “Uncommon Threads” Samhlaiocht Gallery, Tralee, Co. Kerry

2009   Knitting & Stitching Show, RDS: Filament group exhibition.

2008   Knitting & Stitching Show, RDS: Filament group exhibition.

2007   Knitting & Stitching Show, RDS: City & Guilds graduation show.