Embroidery Frieze (The Politicians) inspired by baroque embroideries, depict incidents of fighting politicians from across the contemporary world. In the midst of rising global tensions, ideal versions of society unravel. This unraveling is represented symbolically by the colored threads, which hang from the embroideries. The use of a medieval palette of threads reference period embroideries, such as the Bayeux Tapestry, which similarly utilize a panel or frieze narrative. The stitching follows the folds in fabric of the contorted faces of the figures, contrasting the frenzied battle for power within the embroidery with the controlled and minimal use of color and line as the threads slide out of the frame and down onto the floor.
Ursula Burke works in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, porcelain and embroidery, to create work that explores issues of representation and identity within contemporary Ireland. Burke cleverly uses delicate craft skills to depict and satirize disturbing societal tensions, partisan attitudes and political posturing. Her recent work makes subtle commentary on male power and identity politics beyond an Irish context.