Echoes of Hanna Cathal Brugha Barracks 2016 Rathimines, Dublin, Ireland (formerly Portobello Barracks)

Launch: " CULTURE NIGHT Friday 16th September 2016: From 17.00 - 21.00 hrs

On Culture Night 2016, Margaret Fitzgibbon presented Echoes of Hanna, a new site-specific installation developed as part of her ongoing artist-in-residence at the Military Archives, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Rathmines. The installation was inspired by certain historical events in the barracks and by the extraordinary feminist couple Hanna and Francis Sheehy Skeffington, who lived locally. During Easter week 1916 Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre were arrested by the British Forces and executed without trial in Portobello Barracks – now Cathal Brugha Barracks. “I set out to reimagine the prisoners’ yard and cells and to lift it out of the distant past into a contemporary context. I wanted to ‘return’ Hanna to the barracks and allow her to mediate her feminist and Suffragette ideals in a very poignant location. She dedicated her entire life to fighting for justice and truth, gender equality, freedom of speech, equal pay and education for women and girls”.

Echoes of Hanna featured an imagined monologue in the voice of Hanna read by Olwen Fouéré
broadcast into the prisoner’s yard. In the Guard’s Room, the installation also presented a series of hand-made silk banners that reference the Suffragettes’ understanding of the ‘power of publicity’. In the Cells, a large series of black and white images, inspired by early cinema, told Hanna’s life in a story board format. With other sculptural elements, these works set out to transform this unique site from a tragic past into a site of possibilities while questioning how far we have come from those heady days of optimistic fervour that sought to create a modern, democratic order with equal opportunities for all.

Margaret Fitzgibbon is a contemporary artist living and working in Rathmines, Dublin. She is in numerous public collections including University College Cork and Arts Council of Ireland. She works primarily in installation incorporating short films, sound and sculpture. She is drawn to exploring minor or repressed identities, events and objects through the archive and collective memory. Recently she showed in We All live on the Same Sea, Sirius Art Centre and Wild-Screen, Connemara, Galway.

Further Information:
Dr Margaret Fitzgibbon
Artist in Residence
Cathal Brugha Barracks
Rathmines, Dublin, Ireland
mob:00353 857356585