Eimear O’Keane is interested in ancient Irish history which is influenced by her upbringing in the town of Trim in County Meath. She makes work which responds to history, the practice of storytelling and the Irish language. She is drawn to textures that occur naturally within nature and the landscape, which are applied to her digital work to give it life.
'Fite Fuaite' is a project of appreciation for the Irish language which explores the relationship between the Irish language and the landscape. The term ‘Fite Fuaite’ (Fitch-eh Fooch-eh) which means ‘interwoven/intertwined’ is widely used by Irish speakers to explain this relationship.
A hand-woven wall hanging/throw was created to showcase the idea, and this also pays homage to the Irish craft of weaving. A typeface by the same title was specifically designed for this project and this was based off old Irish type, while the pattern for the piece was based off photographs she took of the landscape while visiting Gaeltacht areas.
'Fite Fuaite' also comprises a publication which showcases the stories and poems of Gaeilgóirí (fluent Irish speakers) and tells of their passions for the Irish language. Many of these writings highlight the interwoven relationship between the Irish language and the landscape, and the book includes photographs of people in Gaeltacht areas (Irish speaking areas) throughout history, often weaving with different natural materials as this is an indigenous craft specific to their localities. The paper in this publication is made from plants and is 100% recycled and handmade. This was to be both sustainable and to also create an immersive experience for the reader as they flick through the pages and read about the landscape while holding a piece of work which looks and feels like they're in nature.