people, places and things
with Síofra Holyland

Síofra Holyland is an award-winning textile artist based in the west of Ireland in County Galway. Siofra’s designs have adorned silk scarves, swimsuits and furniture and draw inspiration from rural and urban landscapes with themes such as nature, movement, and texture present throughout her work.

Describe yourself in three words: 

Compassionate, Creative and Quirky 

What is something our readers might not know about you?

For as long as I can remember I have been in love with elephants. I have a dedicated shelf in my room lined with an assortment of figurines. It’s a pretty impressive collection! These great animals are known for their wisdom and strength and are said to never forget. It’s no surprise that when it came to selecting my first tattoo, I chose an elephant design. I was 18 and just about to move to Cork for my art degree. To this day it’s still one of my favourite pieces of ink.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

In 2019 I was honoured to receive the Emerging Artist Award by Cork Craft & Design. Each year one lucky final year student is awarded this title at Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork. I got the opportunity to exhibit in the Gallery at No.46 Grand Parade during Cork Craft Month and received retail space in the Cork Craft and Design shop in Douglas. It’s amazing to see your work displayed for sale as opposed to in an exhibition setting. A real ‘pinch me’ moment for sure! At the moment my designs are stocked in two gorgeous locations, Abbert Lifestyle Store and Grocery in Tuam and the 2wildgeese, Kirwins Lane, Galway.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration is my Mom Pauline. Throughout my life she has been there cheering me on, from sports days to Irish dancing competitions to graduating from art school. She’s so crafty and creative, it’s definitely where I get my passion for art. It’s lovely to have her in the studio during my creative process to discuss concepts for new work. Everyday I’m encouraged and supported to become not only the best artist I can be, but the best version of me. Oh yes, and she makes the BEST cup of tea in the world!

Tell us something you love about Galway:

For me, Galway is a city for the senses. The ocean spray in Salthill, the colours of The Long Walk, the flavours of the market, the hustle and bustle of Quay Street. Inspiration exists around every corner. My recent swimwear collection was inspired by a walk I took one day from the rowing club out to Salthill. I found myself enjoying the leisurely stroll, occasionally pausing to take photos and pick up coffee.