A CORK-based contemporary abstract pop artist will remember the women of the Centenary as part of this years’ commemorations.
Jeanette Collins has received €5,000 from the first tranche of Cork City Council’s 2020 Commemoration Fund, which she plans to use to create a piece featuring Muriel MacSwiney - the wife of former Lord Mayor of Cork Terence MacSwiney.
Ms Collins said that her focus for this piece is to draw attention to the women of 1920-1923. She said they remain largely unspoken of and their stories and struggles aren’t always to the forefront of remembrance.
Her collection predominantly involves large statement pieces, and this portrait piece will focus on Muriel MacSwiney but will incorporate a unique modern twist.
“The aim of my piece is to artistically depict the image of Muriel and initiate intrigue among viewers and discussion surrounding the work she did for Cork in the nationalist movement, both in Ireland and abroad.
“Included in my piece, I want to convey the struggle Muriel endured personally on her return to Ireland following the death of her husband, and the challenge of the civil war she found herself in. Despite the controversy in her later life, her story is still worth telling,” Jeanette told.
She went on to say that Muriel MacSwiney’s progressive approach to international relations and her fight for justice and rights in Ireland will be honoured by the piece, and is something that would speak to the current generation.
Ms Collins said she also wants to highlight Ms MacSwiney’s trips to the United States, where she was the first woman to receive the ‘Freedom of New York’ and the significance that had.
“I hope that my modern depiction of Muriel MacSwiney will draw attention from a younger generation many of whom may not have been aware of this woman and may now appreciate the historic importance she any many others like her had, but also how they shaped the Ireland we live in today,” Ms Collins said.
“I ultimately want people to view my piece with interest and encourage them to research Muriel MacSwiney to understand her importance and impact she had,” she added.
“This piece is about putting the commemorative year into context, and into the hearts, of the people of Cork. I am doing this in proud partnership with the team from St. Peter’s who have a yearlong Cork 1920 – The Burning of a City exhibition and programme of events. As a subject matter, the women of 1920 are very close to our hearts and on International Women’s Day, we will be shining a light on the women who participated in the foundation of the Irish state; an integral role, often forgotten,” she concluded.