‘At Home’ with the Easter Widows
Follow the above link to see our ‘At Home’ with the Easter Widows event covered by Eileen Magner on the 9 o’clock news!
On November 22nd 2014, writer and historian Sinéad McCoole and I collaborated on a unique event at the Model, Sligo – ‘At Home’ with the Easter Widows to showcase Sinéad’s most recent publication, ‘Easter Widows’ and my latest work, ‘The Easter Widows Series’ which was inspired by the book.
The ‘at home’ was a popular means of socializing in the period before the First World War. Ladies sent out cards indicating times that were suitable for friends to call. Due to social changes following 1918 the activity ceased.
Our invitation was for family, friends and all those interested to come along and listen to the stories of the women in the book – Ainne Ceannt, Kathleen Clarke, Maud Gonne MacBride, Grace Gifford Plunkett, Lillie Connolly, Muriel MacDonagh and Agnes Mallin, all widowed by the executions of the seven leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916. My portraits, ‘The Easter Widows Series’ were on view for the first time and also a display of artifacts belonging to the women.
Sinéad vividly set the scene of the era and captivated our audience with stories and thought provoking perspectives of events of the early 1900s. Having completed in depth research she shared valuable insights in to the lives of the women prior to and following the executions of their husbands.
I spoke as an artist, describing the thinking behind the ‘Maud Gonne Series’ and my process and practice in developing ‘The Easter Widows Series’ which (I am told) commanded a strong presence on the wall behind me. Both of us read exerpts from ‘Easter Widows’.
The atmosphere at The Model was warm and relaxed and those who came seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event. I would like to thank Sinéad for inviting me to collaborate with her, Grainne Blair for making the link between us, The Model for their enthusiasm and family and friends for helping us to make it such a successful event.