Stormy Petrel exhibition in GPO

I recently had the pleasure to work with the artist’s collective “Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall” – artists Alanna O’Kelly, Orla Ryan and Brian Hand – producing a limited edition artist’s book titled “Thug siad oiche ar guairdeall dom – They left me wandering all night”.

This artist’s book formed part of their commission from the GPO Witness History public art commissions 2016 to coincide with the centenary commemoration of the 1916 Rising. From 24th April – 2nd May 2016, a sound installation and sculpture will be exhibited in the courtyard of the GPO in Dublin with a performance “Mother operated on successfully today” on Monday 25th April, 2016.

Focusing on women courier networks in 1916, “Stormy Petrel/Guairdeall” explored the role of these women as ‘”human telegraphs”, who memorised the Proclamation on their journeys out of Dublin on Easter Monday morning. Underpinning the work is the symbol of the stormy petrel – the world’s smallest seabird and metaphor for someone who is an avatar of change. In 1916 the stormy petrel was an international symbol of revolution and the anti-colonial imagination.

Éilís Murphy