Brid launches “Relatives” – 1916 Art Project

RELATIVE exhibition launched by Bríd Smith TD.


On Thursday 24 March newly elected TD for Dublin South Central Bríd Smith (People Before Profit) launched a photographic exhibition called ‘Relatives’, devoted to 1916 Volunteers and their contemporary descendants. Bríd’s grandfather, Barney Murphy, was one of the Volunteers featured in the exhibition.

The exhibition is a work of public art and is displayed along Benburb St.( Curated by The Complex and its Artistic Director, Vanessa Fielding, it features photographs by Steve McCullagh. These depict Volunteers from the nearby Four Courts garrison under the command of Ned Daly in1916, above photographs of their living relatives, with quotes from the Volunteers in between.

Vanessa Fielding explained, ‘Paddy Holohan, grandson of Patrick Holohan, one of the volunteer leaders, contacted The Complex to collaborate on an artistic piece for the relatives of the 1916 Fourcourts Volunteers. We responded with this concept of photographs, showing a living relative alongside a volunteer, revealing the emancipation of the living relative, achieved by the brave actions of the volunteer’.

The launch took place in the nearby Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, who had commissioned the project, and was attended by about 100 relatives. Bríd Smith TD, features in the exhibition with her grandfather, Barney Murphy, who worked in the Abbey Theatre and fought in the Four Courts in 1916, spoke of her pride in being asked to open the exhibition.

She applauded the role of the arts, in 1916 and today in promoting the idea of revolution and freedom. She also drew a contemporary parallel with the LUAS workers’ strike noting the role of a tram workers strike in the run up to 1916 and the foundation of the Irish Citizens Army.

Finally, Bríd Smith stressed to the audience the important part that ‘our relatives’,the combatants of the Four Courts contingent, had played in the Rising, crucially in hindering the access of British troops to the GPO.
The exhibition will run from March until December 2016