My Objects of Desire: Artist Domino Whisker on the things she treasures most

Known for her exceptional craftsmanship, the embroidery artist talks feather collections, family heirlooms and finding the perfect garlic crusher

Domino Whisker, photographed for Irish Tatler by Melanie Mullan: ‘Some of the vintage linen I collect is too precious to do any more than just sit and look at it, I occasionally pull them out and think of the – mostly – women who made them’

My personal style is exceptionally lazy these days. Comfort is a must for me – oversized everything. I tried wearing heels recently to a friend's wedding but they didn’t even make it out the front door.

My interior style is hoarder chic. I am a collector of all things weird and wonderful. The older the better. Anything from old books to vintage vases, and remnants of Old Ireland.

Domino describes her interior style as hoarder chic

The last thing I bought and loved was a vintage Claddagh ring for my boyfriend. We exchanged them for our anniversary. His was a chunky gold one – I love it on him, I love what it represents, between two people and between the wearer and Ireland.

A vintage Claddagh ring for her boyfriend is the last thing Domino bought

On my wishlist is a Simone Rocha bag, particularly the deep red heart one. I have a small handkerchief purse of hers from a few years ago but I want another one, they are perfect little works of art.

Domino has a Simone Rocha purse and hopes to get another one soon

The best book I’ve read this year is John Banville’s The Sea – a perfect summer read.

Domino is reading Faith, Hope and Carnage, by Nick Cave and Sean O’Hagan

I’m currently reading Faith, Hope and Carnage, by Nick Cave and Sean O’Hagan. The most recommended book to me since my father passed away. It’s an extended conversation between the two, who I admire equally – covering faith, art, grief, love and more. I have always been inspired by people who can speak about their toughest moments. I look to them for comfort when I find myself in the dark, both creatively and emotionally. I think this book will become a yearly read for me. Similarly to Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, which is perpetually on my mantelpiece – like a bible…

One of Domino’s favourite albums this year, Lankum’s False Lankum.

The best album I’ve listened to this year is a tie between Gigi’s Recovery by my wonderful pals, The Murder Capital, and Lankum’s False Lankum. Two stunning Irish albums.

The Murder Capital’s ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ is one of the best albums that Domino has listened to this year

The place I love returning to is the sea. Every day, it is a must. It gives me space to breathe and a sense of hope.

The sea gives Domino a sense of hope

The place I really want to visit is Greece. I am desperate to go back. Greece somehow feels like home to me. The people remind me of the Irish, good for a laugh, a drink and a warm welcome. Rich with history and good food.

New to me is happiness. It sounds silly but I feel a sense of lightness this year that I haven’t had since I was a child. It’s been a gift. Attained by a combination of love, acceptance and a lot of therapy.

Some of the souvenir stones that Domino collects

My style icon is Chloe Sevigny mixed with ASAP Rocky … daring, casual and cool.

The gadget I use all the time is my garlic crusher. Garlic in everything and on everything. Garlic in my heart.

Last year my mother gave me the most beautiful opal ring that belonged to her Mum, my granny Peggy. It is my most prized possession.

This opal ring is the best gift Domino has received

The best gift I’ve given was a portrait of our brilliant grandfather for my mother's 70th birthday. My sister and I were lucky enough to have the portrait made by one of my favourite Irish artists, Colin Davidson. He captured my grandfather so beautifully, his kindness and brilliance all there, the glimmer in his eyes. He passed away this year, at 98 years old and though I know he is gone, I can feel every bit of his essence when I see this portrait.

My favourite place to shop is Monte Christo in Powerscourt and The Treasure Chest in Blackrock. Magical troves of delights from jewellery to carpets, chairs, vintage postcards and more.

My indulgence is the occasional pint or pints of Guinness in the middle of the day.

I couldn’t live without the sea. The Irish Sea especially. I have to be near it, almost at all times.

I collect feathers. Messages from those I have lost; my grandmother, my father. I also collect vintage linen for my work. Some of it is too precious to do any more than just sit and look at it, I occasionally pull them out and think of the – mostly – women who made them.

A portion of Domino's vintage linen that she collects

I could never part with … you have to part with everything at some point, I’m working on accepting that.

I bring home souvenirs of stones and bricks. I have far too many stones and bricks.

My home is full of stones and bricks; stones, bricks and books.

A part of Domino’s brick collection

My scent is vanilla. Always vanilla. I want to smell like a freshly baked cookie.

To de-stress I swim in the sea. No matter how cold, my body completely relaxes after a swim. Calm breathing returns, it is honestly the best free therapy out there.

The last item I added to my wardrobe was something I probably bought for my boyfriend with every intention of stealing after one wear.

Domino wearing a design by her mother, Mariad Whisker

The artist I admire is Dorothy Cross. Her work is the most thought-provoking and inspiring for me. Her relationship to the sea, and all things that come from the sea too.

The designer I admire is always my mum, Mariad Whisker. I only recently found footage of her winning The Late Late Show award for Fashion Designer of the Year in 1986 – everything she touches is classic and cool, I appreciate her style more and more every year.

The designer that changed my thinking is Vivienne Westwood. My obsession with Punk and especially Women in Punk stems from her. Punk Pioneer. Not only what she has done for fashion and art, but her work as a political activist, especially her commitment to vegetarianism.

Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking: a yearly read for Domino

The building I love is The Merrion Hotel – I have never stayed there but it is my favourite place for a cocktail and a bowl of chips. They have a Mainie Jellett painting in the drawing room and I love more than anything that view by the fireplace. I certainly can’t afford regular cocktails in The Merrion, but it is a good goal for me and keeps me on my tootsies work-wise.

My favourite view is golden hour at Seapoint, in Monkstown. I have so many fond memories there, with friends but mostly with my father and our dog Blue. There is a magic that I experience there in the evenings. I wish I could bottle it.

I’ve recently rediscovered true love. I’m just over a year into it and I can’t believe how life-changing it has been. Who knew?