Mater Metrics 1,2,3,4,5

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My mater-metrics series of drawings is an articulation of protest which critiques our Irish history of family planning and reveals ongoing deprivation and patriarchal control in contemporary family life. The research imperative evolved through conversations with Doctor Leanne McCormick (CHoMI) and her article ”The Scarlett Woman In Person”; The Establishment of a Family Planning Service in Northern Ireland, 1950-1974’ 2008. That dialogue resulted in these art works which examine motherhood within Northern Irish socio-political history. As recently as 1979 Charles Haughey described large catholic families as ‘a particularly Irish problem’. On both sides of the Irish border Church and state have collaborated to restrict maternal autonomy. My concern as an artist is that Northern/Irish mothers are still discouraged from regulating the number of children they chose to have. We are culturally encouraged to breed while our society remains reticent about the adequate provision of family planning advice, contraception etc. This is despite the world-wide recession and the financial strain which over-population places upon our society.The series was internationally recognised through an open competition organised by the artist/curator Fion Gunn and exhibited in the group show ‘Convergence’ ( co-curated by Zheng Xuewu, WithSpace Gallery, Beijing, March 2012). The success of the works was evidenced through their further selection, initially for the Yan Chao Collection (Beijing, July 2012 curator You Yantzi) and then for the touring exhibition ‘Intimate Revolution’ (Irish Cultural Centre, Paris 2013, co-curator Chen Meitsen). Further venues on the tour will include the CCAD Gallery, Cork 2013 and UCAD Gallery, Dublin 2013. This touring group show features works by both Irish and Chinese artists. The theme relates specifically to what happens to women at times of revolution and how in the aftermath of social upheaval, all too often the human rights of women are sacrificed on the altar of expediency.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBeijing, China
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
EventConvergence - WithSpace Gallery / Beijing, China
Duration: 8 Mar 201221 Mar 2012


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