Queer Irish Artist Celebrates Women of the Easter Rising

Jaki Irvine IMMA

A major new commission for IMMA by queer lesbian artist, Jaki Irvine, remembers the women consigned to the margins of the 1916 Rising.


Taking it’s point of departure from Irvine’s 2013 novel Days of Surrender, which focuses on the woman best known for delivering the surrender in the Easter Rising,  Elizabeth O’Farrell and Irish nationalist, suffragette, socialist and member of Cumann na mBan, Julia Grenan, If the Ground Should Open… focuses on the two hundred-plus women who were ready to die or kill for the possibility of a different Ireland, but whose stories were all but written out of official Irish history. The video and sound installation piece also revisits more contemporary history, mixing in the leaked Anglo-Irish bankers’ taped conversations of 2008.

According to Irvine her piece reconsiders the legacy of 1916 “in the light of a contemporary Ireland broken by corporate greed.

“Both the past and the present are reflected through a lens that is complicated, joyful, furious and hopeful”.

Performers in the piece include Louise Phelan, Cats Irvine and queer poet Cherry Smyth, and a one-off live event of the work will be performed in full on Tuesday December 13 at the Great Hall in IMMA.


‘If the Ground Should Open…’ is part of the official Ireland 2016 Programme and is presented as part of an exciting on-going initiative, New Art at IMMA.


‘If the Ground Should Open’: Talks & Events


Curators Lunchtime Talk Series
Wed 30 November, 1.15-2pm, Meeting Point Main Reception, free

Join IMMA Director Sarah Glennie for an insightful walkthrough of this exhibition. No booking required.


Live Event: If the Ground Should Open…
Tues 13 December 2016 / 7.30pm Great Hall, IMMA / €8

Jaki Irvine presents the entire work performed live by the project performers; Louise Phelan, Cats Irvine, Cherry Smyth, Hilary Knox, Izumi Kimura, Liz McClaren, Jane Hughes, Aura Stone and Sarah Grimes. Online booking opens 23 September 2016 and places will be limited so early booking advised. Ticket prince includes booking fee and glass of wine after the performance. Booking here.

© 2016 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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