Image Artists Rachel Fallon and Alice Maher in front of The Map , Rua Red Gallery. Photo by Ros Kavanagh
This co-lecture by Dr Maria Parsons (IADT) and Deirdre Kennedy (TU Dublin) will explore how public space and public cultures create ‘maps’. As a starting point this talk will discuss ‘The Magdalene Series’, a programme of exhibitions, interventions, performances and events curated by Rua Red Director/Curator Maolíosa Boyle focusing on ‘The Map’, a collaboration by Alice Maher and Rachel Fallon exhibited from October 18th 2021 to March 12th 2022. ‘The Map’ is described as a ‘monumental textile sculpture […] With its own continents, winds, currents, and constellations […] Its richly worked surface is an epic Mappa Mundi where the structures and languages of cartography are used to imagine and re-imagine the life, legacy, and mythology of Mary Magdalene and her impact on women’s lives.’ Through ‘The Map’ and its poignant, irreverent and witty ‘topographic markings’ and ‘psychic landscapes’, this talk will explore histories, stories and constructions of Irish women’s lives to demonstrate how public cultures not only mark and frame our public spaces but also produce, mark and frame our bodies. This part of the lecture will also encompass work by writer and journalist Sinéad Gleeson and the recent site-specific collaboration All Hardest of Woman between writer and scholar Emilie Pine with the theatre company ANU. The second part of this co-lecture will consider socially engaged arts practices in Dublin and the ways in which these map, shape, create and re-imagine local spaces and identities through collaboration and participation.
Dr Maria Parsons (IADT)
Maria Parsons is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire (IADT). She is also a trade union activist. Her research and teaching interests are in literature and media studies and contemporary theory and philosophy with a focus on gender studies, the body, new materialisms, the posthuman and popular and digital cultures. She has collaborated on digital media projects and installations and has also published in the fields of gothic and horror studies and queer studies. Her recent publications include New Cartographies, Nomadic Methodologies: Contemporary Arts, Culture and Politics in Ireland, co-edited with Anne Goarzin and published by Peter Lang in 2020.
Deirdre Kennedy (TU Dublin)
Deirdre Kennedy is a multimedia lecturer and practitioner. Informed by the experience of environmental activism and socially engaged art practice, she coordinated projects such as the Tribal Project, the Big Bang and Inside Out. She is currently undertaking research investigating collaborative creative practice in a higher education and community setting. A founder member of Future Makers Collective, her projects include The Octopus and the Accordion (Maurice O’Connell) and the Tribal Re-Awakening, working with artists, cultural practitioners, and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.