A DOWNPATRICK woman is to showcase an art exhibition as part of Féile An Phobail about the complexities of growing up as a child of the ceasefire. 

Ilianna Edwards, also known as 'Mico' has always been interested in art and attended the University of the Arts in London. And it was there that she realised how important her Irish identity was.

Entitled 'Walk a Mile in My Shoes', the collection comprises of four
pairs of shoes and two garments which have been handmade using real
objects from 'The Troubles'.

The collection depicts the conflicting emotions of a young generation
born into a pro-peace post-war society, through the artist's personal
lens. It highlights themes of inter-generational trauma, injustice,
resilience of the Irish people and hope for a peaceful united future.

Each pair of shoes takes the viewer on a journey into key moments that
imprinted on the artist in her childhood, be it personal family injustices,
injustice within the community and wider current events.

Speaking to the Andersonstown News, Ilianna said: "The project visualises the things we can't talk about, the things we keep inside, especially as young adults we tend to make light of trauma we carry from our families and communities.


"This is harmful as it can perpetuate feelings of depression, that depression can be masked by drinking, drugs and excessive need for escapism.

"We have an extremely high percentage of young people on drugs and who are suffering from mental illness in the North of Ireland. I wonder why?

"I want my work to give a voice to those who are constantly unheard
and silenced by Westminster.

"We are the next generation of young adults and it is our responsibility to
heal our trauma.

"To heal we need justice, we need to talk without fear. Sometimes when words are difficult, we look to art for our hope."

"I am really excited to be part of the Féile an Phobail and engage with an audience that the exhibition was designed for."

'Walk a Mile in My Shoes' by Ilianna Edwards will be exhibited at St Mary's University College during the Féile.

All exhibitions based in St Mary’s will run from Thu 4th – Thu 11th August on the following times: Thu 4th – Fri 5th: 11am – 7pm | Sat 6th: 11am – 2pm | Sun 7th: Closed | Mon 8th – Thu 11th: 11am – 7pm.