Installation at Chard Museum: Caitlin Heffernan

It has been an incredibly intensive 6 weeks of making, producing and installing my work in Chard museum. All the different facets of my research and ideas have come together to produce a large-scale installation.


The installation is created from netting-a version of this tulle net was produced in Chard back in the 1800s and is still produced locally. As you enter the barn area of Chard museum you enter an edifice of a building/room created by layers of net to form the outline.

For me the linking of material to place is very important and therefore the netting produced in lace mills back in the 1800s and still today was significant and felt a powerful metaphor to explore in terms of the women working and contributing to all of the industries-both at once visible and invisible.

IMG_4447.JPGOn the outside of the net room is a large-scale abstracted drawing referencing the machinery of the lace net production.

Once inside there are different elements of the installation.Install4.JPG

This a view from behind the installation.

Install3.3.JPGThese are my harvest figures, that reference women’s contributions to the different industries within Chard. The net garments have hay, dried grasses and flowers embedded within them.

Their bodies are partly machines and cogs, highlighting the shift and change in industries to machines and the collections within the museum.


The suspended bodies as buildings are my response to the imposing Holyrood mills within Chard town and how integral people and especially women have been to those buildings and the wider communities. The buildings become bodies, linking metaphorically to the net building edifice.

Install8.JPGB2DE1AA4-1F73-40E2-9BE5-1474806F3010.JPGThe wall of arms The ‘wall of arms’ refers to the hundreds of women who worked in the lace mills and collar factories. The lace machine is visible through the multiple arms.


The femininity of the space and the re-visiting of female perspectives and stories has been key to the development of my installation and research.