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Satellite Reef – Ireland

A detailed look at the riotous woolly Irish Reef. Photo by Irene Lundgaard

The Irish Reef began in November 2009 when Margaret traveled to Dublin to give preliminary workshops. Crafters came from across the city as well as various small towns throughout the country, some as many as three hours drive away. In the following months Irish Reefers proceeded to generate an unusual selection of beautifully conceived corals adding a uniquely Irish branch to the ever-evolving taxonomy of the crochet "tree of life". 

A view of the entire Irish Reef with the bricks of Dublin in the background. Photo by Anna Mayer

Organized by Irene Lundgaard and Orla Breslin -- both of whom reside in rural Ireland, in Tinahely and Dingle, respectively -- the crafters gathered at the Science Gallery over the coming months, as well as in many private homes. Collectively they began to "grow" their Reef into a delicately sensual outcropping.

The Irish Reef debuted at the Science Gallery, Dublin, in March 2010 as part of the larger exhibition Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef: A Woolly Wonder in which the complete slate of IFF Reefs were magnificently displayed. The Irish Reef itself occupied a central position at the top of the stairs on the gallery's second floor greeting visitors to this tier of the show. Lit by the ambient light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Pearse St, the shifting clouds and intermittent sun gave the installation a distinctively Irish, watery feel. 

Another view of the Irish Reef. Photo by Irene Lundgaard 

The IFF was honored to work with the many talented crafters in Ireland who participated in the project; we always knew something special would emerge from the Emerald Isle and we weren't disappointed. We particularly appreciate the organic, unhinged sensibility that Irene and Orla brought to the curation of this reef. Both are crafters of immense flair visually and materially - Irene's ruffled coral towers and Orla's plastic bottle piles are among the most ingenious reef creations.

In addition to the the large, woolly isola of the main Irish Reef, Irish crafters also contributed a  section of plastic creations to the ever-growing Toxic Reef, which took wild root in the first floor gallery. Irish plastic pieces included a colorful nest-like orb of water bottle "spikes" and an exquisite grove of fluffy-headed anemones made from plastic shopping bags and pink plastic rope (by Orla Breslin). The Toxic Reef, a mainstay of the IFF's Core Reef Collection, is fed by contributions from innovative participants around the world and we were delighted to display the Irish creations along with this evolving sea of plastic.

The Irish Reef was brought into being under the auspices of the Science Gallery, a project of Trinity College.

The Irish Reef was organized by Irene Lundgaard and Orla Breslin with contributions from Felt Makers Ireland.

The IFF thanks the Science Gallery for its support and for the accompanying exhibition; and we offer our gratitude to all the crafters in Ireland who made this possible. 

For up-to-the-minute news on the Irish Reef's current whereabouts, visit

Irish Reef contributors

Ailish Grant, Anita Daly, Anne Sage, Aoife Canavan, B. Cummins, B. Whitmore, Barbara Smith, Barbara Morrison, Bernadine Fitzpatrick, Betty Cumiskey, Breda Clear, Carol Lanigan, Caroline Walshe, Caterine Lacey, Catherine Dowling, Christine Raab-Heine, Cristina Garcia, Eileen Doraw, Eileen O' Connell, Eimear Coxle, Emer Brady, Florrie Dixon, Fran Oldham, Hayley Dixon, Helen McDonnell, Jacinta Douglas, Jenny Byrne, Jenny Mills, Joan Blalu, Joanna Baird, Judy Donaghy, Juliet Belton, K. O'Rourke, Katherine Walsh, Lisa Westermann, Lorna Acton, Lua* Elliot, Lucy Robinson Madge Kenny, Maggie Walker, Margaret Hernan, Margaret Johnston, Margaret Dowling, Margarete Trede, Maria Hobbs, Marley Kavanagh, Martina Carroll, Mary O'Grady, Mary Murphy, Maureen O' Dwyer, Michaela Brown, Moira Jones, Muriel Smith, Nadine Petersen, Patricia Tomlinson, Peggy Corr, Rose Callen, Ruth Fortune, Ruth Cadec, Sarah Kent, Serena Baird, Sheelagh Rooney, Sheila de Courcy, Stephanie Kennedy, Susan Walsh, Suzanne McEndoo, Tara Fox, Tara Nelson, Tess Flynn, Tina O' Hare, Una Morrison, Winifred Stratham, Elaine Mulvany, Audrey Cremin, Maeve Allan, Mary Leenane, Jakki O'Donovan, Yvonne Cutting, Muriel Dunne, Lily MacManus, Angela Lane, Anne Dunleavy, Elzbieta Rzechula

Irish Reefers sorting their creations by color in preparation for "basketizing" and installation at the Science Gallery. Photo by Irene Lundgaard

Some picks from the pedestal of Irish "precious" items. Photo by Irene Lundgaard

Irish crafters at work composing their plastic contributions to the Toxic Reef. Photo by Irene Lundgaard

The spiky orb, made by Michaela Brown. Photo by Anna Mayer