At the Table [2016]

Rachel Dickson

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

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At the table [2016]In 2015 I was commissioned by the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly to create an artwork for International Women’s Day and NI Assembly Women’s Week. The work was to highlight and comment on lack of female representation in the Assembly. I met with NI Assembly Women’s Caucus, and the Speaker’s office/NI Assembly produced a paper specifically for my research in to the subject. The piece was launched at an event for all past and current female representatives in the Assembly on International Women’s Day 2016 and was exhibited in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Stormont Estate, Belfast until August 2017. It is estimated that over twenty thousand visitors experienced the piece. 20.8% of the total number of Members of the Legislative Assembly [MLAs] in the Northern Ireland Assembly have been women.This piece was made in response to the statistic which shows a lack of women ‘at the table’ making decisions that affect all of society. The contribution of this 20.8% must be celebrated, yet it is important to highlight that women are missing out on influencing decisions of national and local importance and the different perspectives and experiences of half of the country may not have a voice. The question is why so few women are becoming, or remaining as the decision makers.Each piece of dinnerware in the work had a previous life in parliament Buildings, and has now been reappropriated and decorated with images and patterns found inside the halls, chambers, library, ceiling and walls. These beautiful patterns perhaps have gone unnoticed and have now been altered to signify data relating to the contribution of female MLAs through committee Chairs, party leadership, private member’s bills and ministerial posts held.Only 20.8% of the setting currently exists in colour.The NI Assembly have commissioned me to update the work in relation to recent elections [2017].
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNorthern Ireland Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Mar 2016
EventAt the Table [2016] - The Great Hall, Northern Ireland Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast / Northern Ireland Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast
Duration: 8 Mar 20161 Aug 2016


  • ceramics
  • decals
  • women's week
  • political representation
  • feminism


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