Last week, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin today announced her plans to establish a new committee advising on gender imbalances within the arts.
Speaking at the National Gallery of Ireland, Minister Martin explained how the plan, formed within the context of the Public Spending Code, aims to address the societal tendency to overlook female artists.
Minister Martin said: “I believe this initiative can be a vehicle for conversation within Irish society about how we record and represent the stories of women in our history and the impact that under-representation has on how we see ourselves at both an individual and societal level.”
Potential measures undertaken by the committee include the establishment of a women’s museum and revising the National Collection.
An ongoing exhibition at IMMA, It Took a Century: Women Artists and the RHA exemplifies this intent. The exhibition features the female artists who refused to accept their relegation to the domestic sphere and persevered despite an exclusionary political and creative culture.
The committee will purportedly take into account a broad range of stakeholders, with Martin citing “the diversity of women’s lives” as a major concern.
Trinity News prompted: “What concrete measures do you intend to ensure female artists from minority or disabled identities have a presence on the committee and quantitatively make provisions for intersectional representation?”
Martin acknowledged diversity’s importance. The committee plans to include individuals from the LGBTQ+ community and other minority backgrounds.
She did not concede any quantitative measures to include minority or disabled women on the committee beyond this general sentiment.
Following speakers emphasised the need for restorative justice, but it remains to be seen whether all minorities will have the chance to represent themselves.