Wild Atlantic Women

Wild Atlantic Women (2020)
Curated by Liz Kelly
Produced by Liz Kelly, Craig Flaherty and Denise McDonagh 
Commissioned and presented by Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture

Wild Atlantic Women was curated around International Women’s Day 2020 to echo the #EachforEqual theme. Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th March, the series of events aimed to recognise the achievements of women on a local, national and international level, shifting perceptions towards a more equal future.  


At Engage Art Studios Galway,  artists Evelyn Glynn, Áine Phillips, Blaise Drummond, Ruby Wallis and Alison Lowey created Home Truths, an exhibition inspired by women’s testimonies of court experiences as part of a Small Towns Big Ideas Project, championed by Galway Domestic Violence Response. Glynn’s sound installation interweaved the women’s testimonies with commissioned work from the artists responding to the women’s stories.

Derry-native journalist and writer Susan McKay hosted Derry Girls star actress Siobhán McSweeney for a conversation in which she shared her inspirational views on our changing social landscape and the world at large. 

At dawn on Sunday 8th March, artist and poet Caroline Bergvall for Ragadawn, presented a unique, sunrise performance featuring soprano vocals from Ana Beard Fernández and compositions by the esteemed Gavin Bryars. This was followed by a dip in the Atlantic with Ruth Fitzmaurice, author of I Found My Tribe who lead a troupe of hardy perennials into the wild Atlantic waves as part of a Small Towns Big Ideas project from the Kinvara Pier to Peer group.  

Author Elaine Feeney spoke to literary star Jan Carson about her award-winning novel, The Fire Starter. A much-anticipated appearance by The Handmaid’s Tale author and ultimate International Women’s Day guest Margaret Atwood completed the Wild Atlantic Women Weekend.  Earlier in the weekend, Atwood had met a pupil from St Jarlath’s College in Tuam for a discussion of The Handmaid’s Tale, facilitated by their English teacher, novelist and poet Elaine Feeney.


Image credit: Emilija Jefremova, courtesy of Galway 2020.