landscape, space and gender

‘experiment 4‘: still from a short video piece i made as part of form, fracture frame. i came across an article on landscape, space and gender in an irish context and its post-colonial identity by Sighle Bhreathnach-Lynch. seems somehow relevant as a frame for my form, fracture, frame task (experiment 4). referring to the past i know but informing the present i hope.

John Lavery, Lady Lavery as Kathleen Ni Houlihan

notes from reading: 

patriarchy: landscape, space and gender intersect in the forming of an irish post-independence identity. identity of ireland projected as a bleak but beautiful landscape, inhabited by gaelic, catholic people: recognisable different from its british colonisers. irish females projected as chaste and unsophisticated, mothers and homemakers. structures supported these projections: the catholic church, the constitution of ireland. this enabled a firm patriarchy – to replace that of the british rule.

the national essence: constructing the real ireland & the real irish woman: ireland projected in the visual arts as a rugged landscape and that of the west of ireland. women projected as peasants against this landscape. woman anchored in a rural identity. irish female = mother, nature, nurturing. irish female also linked to image of the virgin mother = chaste and innocent. this served to reinforce the contrasting irish male identity constructed post independance: rugged, strong, independent and linked to a celtic past and history. the construction of this irish male identity required women to be inactive in the political structures of governance…. instead linked to nurture and nature once again.

kathleen ni houlihan arís  – as came up in my research into the national photographic archives. ireland personified as a chaste, innocent woman or as a ‘sean bhean bocht’: old, miserable, homeless.

Screenshot (41)
Woman Wearing a Kerry Coat, The Lawrence Photographic Collection, Glass Plate Negative, 12.5 x 19 cm (circa 1880 – 1900). National Library of Ireland.

present tense: where are we now? how is landscape, space and gender linked to contemporary irish identity and female identity, what the relationship between gender, space and landscape today – in terms of law, representation and practice?

form, fracture, frame….. female, landscape, contemporary frame. is it to be a reflection on this or a challenge to this?

link: Bhreathnach-Lynch, S. Landscape, Space, and Gender, Their Role in the Construction of Female Identity. http://www. (Accessed: 22 November, 2017).









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