© By Martin Forker
Images of women throughout the history of Ireland have engaged viewers and served as inspiration and propaganda. Female political personifications such as Mother Ireland, and female religious icons such as the Virgin Mary and the Protestant martyr Margaret Wilson, have potent political resonance, serving both to unite and divide the social, religious, and political domains. Irish female political symbols can be submissive, aggressive, fertile, or sterile. Mother Ireland and her entourage are two-faced, beautiful and horrific, subservient and manipulative. Mother Ireland (1975) is the first of a series of my Mother Ireland imagery – a mother lamenting the fate of her suffering child (Ulster).