• The Linen Memorial

    L Y C I A T R O U T O N

  • The Linen Memorial

    L Y C I A T R O U T O N

  • The Linen Memorial

    L Y C I A T R O U T O N

The Linen Memorial

USA · Canada · Taiwan · China · The Island of Ireland · Australia

Originally named, The Irish Linen Memorial, this creative project has now spanned almost 20 years. It has travelled to multiple countries, been constructed in churches, galleries and world-renowned libraries. This is an ongoing site‐conscious memorial which seeks to re‐narrate the almost 4,000 deaths which took place during the fraught period of ‘the troubles’ in Northern Ireland.

400 white Irish linen handkerchiefs compose the LM.

The names of those killed between the years of 1966 – 2006 of the Troubles are printed and overstitched with embroidery, and spotted with sewn hair, onto each handkerchief.

Linen is the choice of textile for this project as Northern Island has had a long-standing connection and interdependence with Linen manufacturing. As linen has been used for centuries to shroud the dead, it highlights an emphasis upon the body and the private rituals of grief, mourning and reparation.

The chronological list of the deceased (officially called the Names List) follows scholarly research documenting each person who died as a result of the Troubles from the award-winning book, Lost Lives, by David McKittrick, Seamus Kelters, Brian Feeney, Chris Thornton and David McVea, 1999.

Since 2001, visitors to the memorial have related stories about those killed; stories which The Linen Memorial has begun to archive.

Dr. Lycia Trouton would like to express her gratitude to the over 50 craftsperson’s from small towns around the world that dedicated great time and patience to the hand sewing of this memorial over the years.


  • The work is stirring and beautiful, and I’m sure much more so in person. I’m in awe at the quiet grace it brings to a painful subject. Thank you for the work.

    Kristin L. Tollefson
  • The piece most of all records all those that died as a result of the conflict, where all that died are equal. Personally it was a painful and freeing piece in so many ways. A beautiful, simplistic, reflective and challenging piece of memorial art. A piece that I hope to see homed and displayed in Northern Ireland. It was a pleasure to have a few days to get to know the piece with the artist.

  • Wish I could be there to see your work. The Linen Memorial is really a very interesting concept.

    Pat George
    Sculptor, Senior Academic in Visual Arts, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • You have created a most appropriate memorial. The Irish linen floats through the air like it breathes life itself.

    Carolyn Kramer
    Painter, Vancouver, BC, Canada & Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Your reader-viewers’ own intertwining of religious and ethnic traditions is, itself, a testament to reconciliation. I made a documentary which had girls in Ireland recite their names and county of origin – naming is a simple but powerful way to honour lives.

    Siobhan McHugh
    Oral Historian, Writer, Documentary Filmmaker, Lecturer, Sydney, Australia