Pamela de Brí
'No Women', Etching and Chine Collé
Having read quite a number of different angles on the Easter 1916 Rising, focus in 2016 seems to be, at last, on the varied role of women during the period of rebellion. Witness accounts given to the Bureau of Military history are now available for all to read online. While accepting it was a different time, with different social mores, distinct class systems with their own hierarchies and habits of poor interaction and communication, it is strange how the role of females, with minor exceptions, was completely ignored even by the 1966 celebrations.
Most of the leaders of the 1916 Rising saw the value of working alongside women but one or two simply refused to allow them near their area of command. The most high profile of these is Eamonn DeValera who refused to have any women under his command in Bolands Mills. Even when Elizabeth O’Farrell arrived with a note ordering to surrender, he told her that he only takes orders from his commanding officer who was male.
The opening words of the Proclamation "Irishmen and Irishwomen"seems to promise a new order in society, a bit of a rebellion in itself!
Pamela de Brí is a multi-media artist with an interest in Irish cultural heritage.
Her recent four year project "Midland-Lár Tíre" consisted of her cycling the former route of the Midland Great Western Railway, documenting the route, interviewing former workers and current inhabitants on the route and recording their memories and comments. www.cucuart.com