THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY IS IRELAND'S LEADING BODY OF EXPERTS IN THE SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES

Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks: Celebration: The Beginning of Labour

11 March 2016

Pauline Cummins’ mural from 1984 is a response to cultural stereotyping.

Observing a lack of positive birth images in our culture, the artist Pauline Cummins approached the National maternity Hospital, proposing she design a mural in the courtyard in Holles Street. When ‘Celebration: the Beginning of Labour’ was unveiled in 1984, many called for its removal due to its ‘exuberant endorsement of the female body’.

Although Cummins began her career as a painter, venturing into performance and video work, for which she is best known. Her work examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities in society. 

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