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Exhibition on 'The Women of 1916'/Stormy Petrel

'Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’ is a collaboration between visual artists, Alanna O’Kelly, Brian Hand and Orla Ryan. The project comprises a series of art works that will include performance, sound and artists’ publication.

Orla Ryan, on behalf of the collaborating visual artists, said about ‘Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall’: Our collaboration begins with the symbolism of the Stormy Petrel, the world’s smallest seabird, as a metaphor for someone who is an avatar of change and whose appearance announces an oncoming storm. In 1916 the stormy petrel was an international symbol of revolution and the anti- colonial imagination. We are looking at the role of women couriers as ‘human telegraphs’, who memorised the Proclamation on their journeys out of Dublin on Easter Monday morning. Once the rebellion had started, getting back to Dublin was not straightforward.

This exhibition has been commissioned by the GPO as part of the 1916 commemorative programme, and will feature work by Orla Ryan, Brian Hand and Alanna O'Kelly. It will be exhibited in the GPO in April, and subsequently in the Visual Arts Centre in Carlow, and will also include a book to be launched next September. Orla Ryan, one of the principal collaborators, is planning to bring this project to Hanoi in 2016, probably November, and hopes to launch it in the Women’s Museum in Hanoi at that time.

The Embassy hopes this will prove to be a valuable way to showcase Irish modern and visual arts in Vietnam, while prompting a conversation about the role of women in revolution, whether in Vietnam or Ireland. The Women’s Museum currently showcases a number of Vietnamese women who have fought for their country, or worked towards Vietnamese independence.