July 26, 2022

Behind "My Grannies Garden" Collection

By Georgina O'Hanlon

As a child, I was undeniably wild, prowling the streets of the liberties in Dublin 8. I often roamed off - to return home after the sun had set - my Dad exclaiming "Moggy (an affectionate term for a cat) - has returned!" 

Those are my memories as an inner city kid. The Dublin 8 I remember is different to the one we see today. Now, D8 has been named as one of the coolest places to live in the world. The south side area of the city was listed as the 15th coolest neighbourhood in Time Out's annual ranking. It ranked higher than other neighbourhoods in major cities such as Paris and Amsterdam. But my childhood memories are very different to this gentrified urban landscape. Back in the 90's it was less "let's grab a latte" more "let's grab 2 for a pound". It was an exciting and dynamic - if not a little dangerous - place to grow up.

Dublin 1990s
Dublin 1990s

 

But my summers - my summers! They were often spent in County Clare with my Mother - a six mile bridge native - where I could roam endless green pastures and breathe crisp, clean air - a refreshing change. This landscape was nothing like inner city Dublin. A magical place where you could partake in horse riding after breakfast and chase butterflies until dusk. We stayed in my grannies home, with a secret garden that I often climbed into - without her permission, of course. 

Clare Ireland 1990s
Rose Clare Ireland Wild Garden Secret
Peacock Butterfly Ireland Clare Wild Garden

 

My journey into silk scarves has been a long one. I graduated from the National college of Art and design, 2012 and headed off to London where I gained experience with Kate Sheridan Accessories as a graphic designer. I didn't stay away too long - returning to Dublin to work as a designer for a greeting card company (hello 500 days of Summer!) I worked my way up and subsequently became the lead graphic designer for Kildare Village. 3 years in - I decided to go freelance, a decision thrilling and terrifying in equal measures, yet one I haven't regretted yet since!

 Fast forward a few years of happily working with several clients - 2020 hit. To gain resilience to the situation, I turned to creativity and I found myself pining to work with fabric again. I missed drawing by hand - a practice I had nurtured in college for so many years.

Drawing Art Georgina O'Hanlon

 

Today’s world is undeniably digital. New technologies – from social media to artificial intelligence – make the planet we inhabit unrecognisable from 20 years ago. In an attempt to withdraw from our forever on lifestyles I began to revisit childhood memories in the countryside and used them as the catalyst to create a collection of luxury silk scarves and prints. "My Grannies Garden" explores a simpler time, and is exploding with flower and fauna found all throughout the Irish landscape, in particular County Clare, such as the curious chaffinch and the brilliant peacock butterfly to the wild Irish rose, symbolising the strength and resilience of Irish women, both past and present.

I knew the type of woman I wanted to create these luxury accessories for. They had to be of exquisite quality infused with a tinge of nostalgia and be unapologetically Irish. The traditional hand drawn elements were a non negotiable when curating the collections as I knew my lady would value traditional craft elevated with modern technologies.