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Fionnuala Doran

Roaming Exhibition 2019-2022 | Residency 2018

Through the 2018 Wom@rt residency in Angouleme France, Irish artist Fionnuala Doran created two new pieces of work which were displayed across Europe between 2019 and 2021. 

The work is inspired by the life of the artist's great Grandmother, who tried to combine motherhood, manual labouring and writing; and by the public testimony of sexual assault survivors.

Alice Molloy was a playwright, poet and writer of short stories.  

She was also a mother of nine and a working­-class Catholic woman who lived in one of the most turbulent towns in Ireland during the War for Independence, the Irish Civil War and the establishment of the gerrymandered, sectarian statelet of Northern Ireland. 

Her identity as a creator was and has been subsumed by her identity as a mother, a wife, a member of the non-­landed classes and a woman. 

Alice was never able to move from her small town to the literary cities of Dublin or Belfast, unlike male writers like Patrick Kavanagh, who came from similar backgrounds. 

Her work has not been archived or collected beyond a few fragments.

While making this work in Angouleme, an allegation of sexual assault was made against a nominee to the American Supreme Court. 

Watching the treatment of Dr Christine Blassey Ford by the American Senate, streamed live online, served as a reminder that as a woman, no matter how accomplished, professionally respected and pleasing in manners she tries to be, her testimony will matter nothing against a man of greater socio­political power.

More than 60 years since my great grandmother died, a female professor of psychology can be told by male dominated political institutions that she does not truly know her own lived experience as well as they do.

"Why can't a woman be more like a man", Rex Harrison sang in My Fair Lady. No matter how a woman endeavours to operate in the masculine model of respectability set out for them, she still will not have the authority, respect or privilege of a man.
Video documentation - Wom@rts Comics and Illustrators Residency, 2018

The participating artists were:

  • Fionnuala Doran (Ireland/ LIT Limerick School of Art & Design)
  • Nanu González (Spain / Factoría Cultural Avilés)
  • Merieme Mesfioui (France / Grand Angouleme)
  • Raquel Lagartos (Spain / Factoría Cultural Avilés)
  • Xulia Vicente (Spain / Compostela Cultura)
  • Scotty Hervouet (France / Grand Angouleme)
  • Korina Hunjak (Croatia / Akademija primijenjenih umjetnosti Sveučilišta u Rijeci)
  • Samira Kentrić (Slovenia / UGM l Umetnostna galerija Maribor)
  • Akvile Magicdust (Lithuania / Vilniaus rotušė)
  • Maura McHugh (Ireland / LIT Limerick School of Art & Design).

WOMEN, (BE)COMING | UGM Maribor | 08 March - 13 April 2019

Curated by Breda Kolar Sluga

On 8th March, the International Women's Day, UGM premiered the first of two consecutive exhibitions emerging from the Wom@rts project's artistic residencies. The residencies were in the fields of printmaking, comics & illustration, and lens-based media. The artists responded to Simone de Beauvoir's groundbreaking work The Second Sex, published 70 years ago. The international exhibition of 32 artists from over 10 countries premieres in Maribor and will move to the project's partners galleries in Vilnius (Lithuania), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Grand Angoulême (France), Rijeka (Croatia), and Limerick (Ireland). The second part of the exhibition opens on 26 April.

In their work, the artists relate to various media, cultural, and generational experiences; asking themselves about the "nature" of the woman, her social embeddedness, about their own history and their future steps.

With the exhibition, inaugurated by the Wom@rts project ambassador and philosopher Eva D. Bahovec we are joining in on the symposium »Beauvoir Between Philosophy, History and Writing the Self«, organized by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana, Festival City of Women and Institute for Social Research in Zagreb, Croatia. 

The first part – on 8 March – presents the work of:

Ana Pečar (Slovenia), María Castellanos (Spain), Cristina Busto Alvarez (Spain), Marija Stonytė (Lithuania), Hanne Larsen (Norway), Stéphanie Cadoret (France);

Haya Blanco (Spain), Fernanda Álvarez Jimenez (Spain), Aoiffe Barret (Ireland), Neringa Žukauskaitė (Lithuania) and Audrey Potrat (France); 

Samira Kentrić (Slovenia), Korina Hunjak (Croatia), Merieme Mesfioui (France), Nanu González (Spain), Fionnuala Doran (Ireland).

More about the artists can be found here.

Events accompanying the exhibition include:

Wom@rts is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.