Rua Red Announces New Commissions

30th November 2018

Rua Red announces groundbreaking new 2020 commissions inspired by Mary Magdalene, featuring six leading Irish female artists.

‘Human appetite for romance cannot wholly explain the attraction of the figure called the Magdalene’ (Marina Warner, Alone of All Her Sex)

Rua Red announces the launch of an extensive programme of new commissions with some of Ireland’s foremost female arts practitioners. Taking place in 2020, the programme explores and responds to the figure of Mary Magdalene through the creation of new work by visual artists Amanda Coogan, Rachel Fallon, Jesse Jones and Alice Maher, writer and Director Grace Dyas and dancer/choreographer Oona Doherty. Maolíosa Boyle, Director of Rua Red, is the programme curator. Mary Magdalene is a subject of fascination and curiosity, a conflicted and mysterious figure encompassing many opposing qualities. She is defined as both noble yet humble, strong yet morally weak, beautiful yet haggard, passionate yet penitent, erotic yet reclusive, one who loved many and was yet seen as superficial, a sinner who sought redemption, someone of extreme vanity yet lived in a cave covering herself and hiding from humanity. Rua Red’s new commissions programme will explore how we have constructed Magdalene’s character through her many manifestations and how has she has influenced female history and current views and treatment of women.

“I was fascinated by the figure of Mary Magdalene as a child. I have been planning the project for the last five years and thinking about who was she, what she symbolised within historical works and texts and how she influenced church and state’s view of women in contemporary society. Marina Warner’s seminal book ‘Alone Of All Her Sex, the Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary’ had a singular impact on my own art practice in the 1990’s and remains a reference point that I carry with me into the curation of this programme. I am thrilled to be working with such fierce and strong women whom I have long admired. Rua Red feel incredibly privileged that they all agreed with great enthusiasm to be part of the programme. We have an incredible journey ahead of us” (Maolíosa Boyle, Director of Rua Red)

In 2019 the commissioning and research phase for the project, which is kindly supported by Creative Ireland, will commence with the first meeting of the group taking place on 5 December 2018 at Rua Red

Rua Red gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Creative Ireland, the Arts Council and South Dublin County Council.

Images and further information available on request: Joyce Dunne: 01 451 5860 /