As part of The Redline Book Festival a private preview of both galleries will be held at 3pm on Saturday 16 October for ticket holders. This event will be followed at 3.45pm by a panel discussion with the artists who will speak about the process of creating the work and their collaboration. This event allows participants the opportunity of previewing the work ahead of the launch and an opportunity to meet Alice Maher, Rachel Fallon, Sinéad Gleeson and Stephen Shannon.
The Magdalene Series at Rua Red is a programme of exhibitions, interventions, performances and events featuring five of Ireland’s leading artists: Amanda Coogan, Alice Maher, Rachel Fallon, Jesse Jones and Grace Dyas.
Rua Red commissioned the artists to produce new work in response to Mary Magdalene to be exhibited in the gallery space throughout 2021- 2022. Alongside each of the exhibitions, a selection of writers were also commissioned to create texts in response to the work.
The series explores Mary Magdalene’s associations with the incarceration and institutionalisation of women and proposes a new world, uncurbed by religious, political or societal doctrine; a world led by the experience of the Magdalene, viewed through the lens of contemporary feminism and feminist theology.
The 2nd exhibition in the series ‘The Map’ by artists Alice Maher and Rachel Fallon is a monumental textile sculpture, a mobile, hanging piece, viewed from front and back. The richly worked surface presents an epic mappa mundi, in which the elements of the cartographers’ practice are used as a device to imagine and re-imagine the life, legacy and mythology of the Magdalene and its impact on women’s lives. An alternative topographic and psychic landscape is uncovered in this witty and complex un-picking of the established narrative around Mary Magdalene, with its own continents, winds, currents and constellations. The giant cloth map comprises embroidered, knitted, sewn, painted, appliqued, printed and found components around which the viewer can move.
Maher and Fallon utilise the iconography of Renaissance maps and medieval tapestries, as well as the language of Victorian ‘cartes de tendre’ and moral schemas such as ‘the Pilgrims progress’, in order to subvert and challenge the very belief systems and power structures these maps were established to uphold.
The map which was created over 2 years hangs ‘centre stage’ suspended from the ceiling in Gallery 1.
In Gallery 2, Writer Sinéad Gleeson and Musician Stephen Shannon have created ‘We are the Map’; an intimate, immersive sound installation in response to the work in Gallery 1.
This incantatory sound quest is narrated by an everywoman (Gleeson) who moves around a new terrain. The Everywoman’s liberty is in contrast to the many women who were unable to escape the laundries, Mother & Baby Homes or homes where they worked non-stop. The piece is divided into 24 sections, to echo the 24 books of the Odyssey. It's a journey, a pilgrim's progress, a quest through new lands and terrains.