Irish artist Dorothy Cross explains how she made her Virgin Shroud, by stitching together a cow-hide, complete with udders, and her grandmother's old wedding dress.

The extraordinary sculpture that resulted is a favourite in Tate's collection. Dorothy Cross was born in Cork, Ireland in 1956. She attended the Crawford Municipal School of Art in Cork before undertaking degree studies at Leicester Polytechnic, England, from 1974 to 1977. She also studied at the San Francisco Art Institute, California, 1978-9 and 1980-2.

Cross has had a number of solo exhibitions including, in recent years, Dorothy Cross, Ebb, at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin 1988, Parthenon at Camden Arts Centre, London 1992, and Even: Recent Work by Dorothy Cross at the Arnolfini, Bristol in 1996. Important recent group exhibitions include Bad Girls, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, in 1993 and Fetishism: Visualising Power and Desire, first shown at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in 1995. Cross uses a wide range of materials in her work, including found objects which have been in her family's possession for many years, constructed objects, photographs and animal skins.

She has recently made several works using cow hides and, in particular, cows' udders. Central to her work as a whole are themes of sexual and cultural identity, personal history and memory. The artist lives and works in Dublin.