A companion piece to an oral history film currently in production, the multimedia installation of Seams is a physical interpretation of the stories of five women from the Republic of Ireland who participated in the Second World War.

Timelapse of the changes in light in the gallery shot by Marcin Lewandowski


Exhibited in the Centre Gallery at the Sirius Arts Centre, the installation was a replica of the Anderson Shelter — an air raid shelter that families had in their back gardens during the bombings in London and Belfast. Many of the women Lewis interviewed referenced the shelters, and Jane, a nurse in London, survived a terrifying night of bombing by being in one. They were steel structures buried part way into the ground and covered with earth. The shelter sometimes protected those within, but tragically, other times it failed. Nothing could shield against a direct hit.

Instead of steel, this Anderson Shelter is made with Irish linen, a material used in much of the war industry for its strength and durability. The white linen creates a sensitive and light-filled space for viewers to listen to audio recordings of the women’s stories. The stories that the women share provide a poignant glimpse of the experiences of women in wartime, an aspect of history that we too often overlook.


The exhibit was made possible with the generous contribution of the Irish Arts Council, the Cork Film Centre, and the Cork County Council. The structure was made with the help of artists Dave Olsen and Megan Ledbetter.