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Mum’s the word for community arts project

AN Ennis-based community art project is behind plans for an evening celebrating the journey towards motherhood through poetry, song and art next week. Keeping Mum is a visual art project involving members of Clare Birth Choice, a voluntary community group lobbying for the provision of maternity services in Clare.
On October 1 from 6.30pm to 9.30pm in Glór they will showcase artwork created by its members, along with performances by the Clare Women’s Network Community Singing Group of songs from all over the world and a reading by renowned poet and author Ruth Marshall.
The artwork on display will be an exploration of personal journeys to motherhood, Ennis-based artist Martina Hynan explained.
“Keeping Mum offers women in the community a supportive and creative environment where they can explore their personal experiences of mothering and motherhood. We believe that by sharing our experiences of giving birth we can inform the wider community of the importance of this vital aspect of the journey to motherhood,” she said.
October 1 is also All-Ireland Poetry Day, and those attending the event will have the opportunity to read a poem of their choosing during an open floor session.
Phase one of the Keeping Mum project has concentrated mainly on birth stories, but there are plans to expand the workshops with a second phase to include an exploration of what it is to be a mother in Ireland today.
The workshops will be open to all women interested in exploring their personal journeys to motherhood and Martina can be contacted at martinahynan@eircom.net for more.
Keeping Mum has already been exhibited in Dublin and Ennis in March of this year. Firstly at the invitation of Banulacht and the National Women’s Council of Ireland at their conference held in Croke Park, and in Ennis at the International Women’s Day celebrations, hosted by the Clare Women’s Network.
It will also be displayed at the Home Birth Conference, Saturday, October 3, in Dublin. Later in October, this work will travel to Toronto, Canada where it will be exhibited as part of the international annual conference of the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM).
Hynan will curate this exhibition and will speak about the project at the conference. She will also exhibit a selection of her own work in Toronto. This new work explores representations of women’s bodies during pregnancy and birth, and also re-engages with the enigmatic Sheela-na-Gig figure.
A selection of Martina Hynan’s works will be on show at Glór on October 1, and Martina will be on hand to chat about the work.
This is a fundraising event and there is a cover charge, with donations accepted from the unwaged. All money raised from the event will go to Keeping Mum, Community Art Project.

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