27 September 2006

Representations of Irish Women

An idea that I have been kicking around recently is one of the representations of Irish women. All over our fair city (no pun intended) we have the magnificent statues as a testament to the great men who fought for our nation (well not really my nation), or to those who symbolised the creative genius.

And what of the representations of women? I can count the number of those on one hand... Anna Livia (who has been temporarily removed but will be relocated soon?), busty Molly Malone, cute Countess Markievicz (the statue with the dog!), The Women Shoppers (I don't know their real names but affectionately called the hags with the bags), and let us not forget the chaste and holy Sister Catherine McAuley.

A connection that I made recently that I find so interesting is that Michael Smurfit commissioned Anna Livia in memory of his father. Strangely enough, another member of the Smurfit family, Norma was instrumental in securing funding for the ground-breaking exhibition in the McMullen Art Museum in Boston in 1997 'Re/Dressing Cathleen'. It was put on as part of the Faminine Sesquicentennial Committee to mark "Black '47" - the pivotal year of the Great Famine (1845-50).

So I suppose my question to you is who decides what imagery is an authentic or accurate depicition of Irish women? Certainly one artists interpretation can't pretend to be representative of the whole of Irish society.

25 September 2006

Equality Means One Law for ALL!

On the 3rd October, the Dr. Katherine Zappone and Dr. Ann-Louise Gilligan case goes to the High Court! As you may or may not know this case will be a landmark case for same sex couples and if won, will be the first recognised same sex marriage in Ireland. It is totally crazy to think in this day and age that we have individuals residing in our society that are being treated as second class citizens. I hate hearing conservatives yammer on about how marriage is for procreation.

So let me just put it out there. Are you saying that a same sex couple cannot have children? Are you saying that an older couple that wants to marry but is beyond childbearing age shouldn't be allowed to? What about a couple that chooses not to have kids, or can't? And why should the laws draw on religious views when we are supposed to have a separation of church and state. What about the aetheists out there who don't give a crap about any of this religious stuff?

If anyone is interested in showing their support, I know there will be supporters outside the Four Courts on all days and the more the merrier!I am wishing them the best of luck and will hopefully be there too.

Here is the link to their website if you would like to learn more or make a donation towards their legal costs:


21 September 2006

Wow this looks AWESOME

Anarchism & Sexuality: ethics, relationships and power
4 November 2006 University of Leeds

Sponsored by the SGSA

Anarchism offers a tremendous body of
knowledge and practice challenging the legitimacy
of coercion, domination and rigid social
hierarchies. Sexuality is a realm of social life
all too frequently characterised by (or produced
through) hierarchy. Both in terms of theoretical
writing and other forms of social action,
anarchist traditions are rarely acknowledged for
their potential in addressing issues of
sexuality. Likewise, in much anarchist writing
and action, sexuality has been and continues to
be all too frequently marginalised. However,
while underacknowledged, marginalised efforts
have had great impacts. The aim of this
conference is to explore the potentially very
productive intersections of anarchism and
sexuality: past, present and future.

In the best anarchist tradition, the event
will be defined by people who participate. What
would you like to see happen? What kind of
discussions do you think are important? Would you
like to present a paper, facilitate a discussion,
organise a workshop or contribute in other ways?

We imagine papers, discussions & workshops about things like:

diy women's health
autonomous queer spaces
inter-linked hierarchies of race, class, gender, sexuality and authority
the sexual politics of various anarchisms
queer theory & poststructuralism
sexual harassment & the capitalist workplace
sexual practice as anarchy in action
erotic democracy
direct action sexual politics
the sexual politics of hierarchy
sex education and sexual health
rape and abuse
anarcha feminism
free love
sexual citizenship
intergenerational sex
gay marriage debates
sex work & organisation
addressing sexuality in anarchist collectives/networks/movement(s)
the erotics of capitalism and its alternatives
the sexual State
anarchist sexualities: theories and practices


Wow I would love to attend this!

08 September 2006

Art versus Craft

I have just started embroidering. So far I don't have anything to write home about, but it is coming along nicely. I am just thinking about how artists such like Judy Chicago and Faith Ringgold ( to name a few) challenged the divide between art and craft through their subversive techniques and imagery. Now I realise that over the years there has been much criticism aimed toward Chicago surrounding The Dinner Party and how actually it wasn't really subverting the "solitary, male genius tradition" in artmaking because Chicago was actually telling other what images to create. But let us forget that brouhaha for a moment and marvel at the amazing skills of these women.

take a look at this image:


and this: