Lyndsey McDougall (Ulster University)
Lyndsey McDougall is a PhD student at Ulster University. She is currently interested in the esoteric and exoteric symbols and motifs found in Irish embroidery used for ceremonial ritual in the Freemasonry and the Roman Catholic Church. Analysing the role, and possible authorship, of these embroideries in order to further define the role of women in these communities.
She hopes to highlight the importance of the Arts and Craft movement in relation to the history of women and textiles in Ireland. She has been investigating the lives of British women who through the arts, and particularly textiles, made a social impact on the lives of women living in rural Ireland. For instance, Lily Yeats who had worked for William Morris, and her sister Elizabeth set up Cuala Industries in Ireland in 1908. There were two branches of this organization, the press, the only female run Arts and Craft press in Britain, and the embroidery department. It is important that the stories of the Yeats sisters and many other Anglo Irish women be further investigated. In order for this to happen it is important to establish connections with other researchers in Britain looking at similar themes.
Keywords: Embroidery, Arts and Craft Movement, Lily Yeats, history of women, textiles, Ireland, Symbols, motifs, design, Freemasonry, ecclesiastical.