Mná na hÉireann

Mná na hÉireann

Sound installation with carved solid wood table (total running time 50 minutes)

Drawn from across the political sphere from the local to national, presidental and european levels of represenation, Browne focuses on the politicising moment for women that drew them into public life and their mentors or supporters on the way. Moreover, Browne looks at the continued existence of article 41.2 in the constitution designating the special place of women in the home, considering the home as a site of political activity by highlighting campaigning or activism that was undertaken from the home by women. Mná na hÉireann is a non-partisan look at women's engagement in politics, to celebrate the many women who have contributed to the political life of this nation.

The installation consists of a 50 minute sound piece that is a composit of many voices of women to give a portraits of what women’s engagement in politics looks like. This in turn gives us a portrait of a nation over the 40 years of public life that is covered by the interviewees and in particular women’s position and role within Irish society in that time. The sound is amplified around a solid wood table, into which is carved the first clause of article 41.2 of the constitution. It states that:

‘In Particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the state a support without which the common good connot be achieved’

The ambiguity of the phrasing allows for a wider scope of activity within the home to be considered, include the contribution by women to political activism and campaigning and its importants for the common good of the nation and its citizens.

Interviewees include: Ivana Bacik Senator,Lynn Boylan MEP, Claire Byrne Cllr, Lisa Chambers TD,Joan Collins TD, Deirdre Clune MEP, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD, Claire Daly TD, Liz O’Donnell Former TD, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Máire Geoghan Quinn Former TD, Fidelma Healy Eames Senator, Jan O’Sullivan TD, Maureen O’Sullivan TD, Mary O’Rourke Former TD, Tracy McElhinney Former Cllr, Liz McManus Former TD, Annette Mooney Candidate, Carrie Smith Cllr, Mary Robinson Former President, Jillian Van Turnhout Senator, Adrienne Wallace First Time Candidate.

Mná na hÉireann was commissioned as part of Kathleen Lynn: Insider on the Outside curated by Catherine Marshall and presented at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo from March to April 2016. It was subsequently presented as part of Carlow Arts Festival 2016 and My Brilliant Friend curated by Rayne Booth at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin.