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ABOUT

Women on Walls is a multi-award winning campaign that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits that will create a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland.

In 2016, Accenture in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy, commissioned five portraits of leading female academics to recognise their achievements and inspire future generations. The finished artworks are on public display in the Royal Irish Academy, the first portraits of female subjects to grace the walls in the Academy’s 230-year history. The five portraits were unveiled at a special event on 7th December 2016 and consist of four individual portraits of the first four female Members of the Royal Irish Academy, elected in 1949. The fifth portrait is a group portrait of eight female scientists, who are recipients of the European Research Council Starter Grants 2012 – 2015 and were chosen as representatives of a generation of outstanding young female scientists working in Ireland today.

View the story of Women on Walls so far:

DOWNLOAD THE TRANSCRIPTION OF THE VIDEO [PDF]

Due to the level of public interest and historical significance of our campaign, a documentary was commissioned to tell the story of Women on Walls at the Royal Irish Academy. In this fascinating programme aired on national TV, we go behind the scenes to reveal the significance of the event, follow the artists at work and capture our own portraits of the subjects themselves, both past and present.

VIEW THE WOMEN ON WALLS DOCUMENTARY HERE


In March 2018, RCSI in partnership with Accenture announced an Open Call to Artists to commission a series of new portraits for the Board Room located in The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland’s historic building on St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin. These portraits will recognise the pioneering achievements of eight extraordinary women and enhance the visibility of historical female leaders in medicine. View more information about the Open Call to Artists here.

MEET THE WOMEN

WOMEN ON WALLS AT THE ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY

12 leading women in the sciences and humanities were chosen in recognition for their achievements and to inspire future generations. The first four female members of the Royal Irish Academy were pioneers in their respective fields which included mathematical physics, Irish art history, plant viruses and classical Irish literature. The group portrait comprises of eight scientists whose areas of expertise include light and solar panels, genetics, human aging, immunology, bio medical engineering among others. View reflections from our launch event and meet the scientists.

VIEW OUR VIDEOS OF THE SCIENTISTS OF WOMEN ON WALLS AT THE RIA

WOMEN ON WALLS AT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS IRELAND

8 extraordinary women leaders in medicine will be recognised for their pioneering achievements. The portraits will enhance the visibility of historical females leaders in medicine and put more women on walls at RCSI.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT THE PORTRAIT SUBJECTS

BLOGS

Read our latest blog posts to find out more about how where the idea came from, how the artists were selected and the impact Women on Walls is having on gender equality and the visibility of women leaders.

READ ALL THE WOMEN ON WALLS BLOGS HERE

Michelle Cullen

Michelle Cullen
Inclusion & Diversity Lead

COMMISSIONED ARTISTS

WOMEN ON WALLS AT ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY

The Open Call to Artists was managed by Business to Arts and elicited an impressive response, with 55 submissions received. The judging panel tasked with the challenge of selecting an artist(s) comprised leading figures in the Irish business and arts communities: Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Professor of Art History at UCD; Catherine Marshall, art writer and curator; Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts; and Alastair Blair, country managing director, Accenture Ireland. Considering the ambitious time-frame, the commission was awarded to two award-winning portrait artists for two separate elements of the commission. 
Vera Klute

Vera Klute was selected to create portraits of the first four female members of the RIA. Klute is the recipient of several awards and commissions, including the Portrait Collection of the National Gallery of Ireland and the Hennessy Craig Scholarship. Reacting to her selection, Klute said “I am absolutely delighted to be selected to create portraits of the first four female members of the RIA. I think it’s a very important agenda to make women more visible in big institutions like this and I’m proud to be part of that. I hope that I can do justice to each of these extraordinary academic and scientific leaders.”

VIEW VERA’S THOUGHTS ON WOMEN ON WALLS HERE

Blaise Smith

Blaise Smith was selected to create the group portrait of the eight female scientists. Smith has won many awards for portraiture and been selected in numerous juried exhibitions notably the RHA Annual in Dublin and the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London. “I am really excited to be doing this portrait for the RIA and Accenture. A group portrait is always interesting because you have to capture the individuals and their personalities but also make the painting of the group work,” Smith said, “I feel privileged to be given this responsibility.”

VIEW BLAISE’S THOUGHTS ON WOMEN ON WALLS HERE

MEDIA INTEREST