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The Map

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The Map

October 18, 2021 @ 11:00 am October 23, 2021 @ 6:00 pm IST

County Hall, Belgard Square North
Dublin 24, D24 KV8N
View Venue Website

Visual art exhibition as part of ‘The Magdalene Series’. The series explores Mary Magdalene’s associations with the incarceration and institutionalisation of women and proposes a new world, uncurbed by religious, political or societal doctrine. Hosted by Rua Red Arts Centre.

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Alice Maher, artist

Rachel Fallon, artist

Maolíosa Boyle, curator

Full Event Details:

The Map – a collaboration by Alice Maher and Rachel Fallon (Gallery 1)

We are the Map – text and sound installation by Sinéad Gleeson and Stephen Shannon (Gallery 2) 

Open to the public – 18 October 2021 – 29 January 2022

The Map, a collaborative workby artists Alice Maher and Rachel Fallonis the second exhibition in the Magdalene Series at Rua Red, curated by Maolíosa Boyle. 

The series features the work of five of Ireland’s leading artists Amanda Coogan, Jesse Jones, Grace Dyas, Alice Maher and Rachel Fallon. They were commissioned by Rua Red in 2018 to create work in response to the history and legacy of Mary Magdalene and her association with the incarceration and institutionalisation of women, and to propose a new world uncurbed by religious, political or societal doctrine. It is a world viewed through the lens of contemporary feminism and feminist theology.

The Map is a monumental textile sculpture spanning the enormous space of Gallery One. With its own continents, winds, currents and constellations, The Map draws the viewer in, inviting a reorientation. Its richly worked surface is an epic mappa mundi where the structures and languages of cartography are used to imagine and re-imagine the life, legacy and mythology of Mary Magdalene and her impact on women’s lives. An alternative topographic and psychic landscape is uncovered in this witty, complex un-picking of the established narrative of Mary Magdalene. 

“Maps are neither mirrors of nature nor neutral transmitters of universal truths.  They contain silences as well as articulations, secrets as well as knowledge, lies as well as truth.” 

The Sovereign Map: Theoretical approaches to cartography throughout history’ by Jacob, Conley and Dahl.

The Map comprises highly detailed hand-embroidered, sewn, painted, appliqued, printed, found and crocheted components. The intense two and a half years of labour over three lockdowns to create the map is a testament to the invisible labour of women everywhere. 

Maher and Fallon utilise the iconography of Renaissance maps and medieval tapestries, as well as the language of Victorian ‘cartes de tendre’ and moral schemas such as ‘the Pilgrim’s Progress’, to subvert and challenge the very belief systems and power structures that these maps were established to uphold.  

To the side of The Map, a whisper, emanates from a deep blue space (Gallery 2).

You do not need to know my name but:

I am Mary, Amina, Penelope, Brigid, 

Persephone, Frida, Maebh, Makeda, 

Sojourner, Granuaile, Cassiopeia, Nan

I am Hecate, Rosa, Lakshmi, Aphra 

the X-Case Girl; the women given letters not names, 

Sappho, Marsha, Maura, Edna,

Green Tara, Black Madonna

I am the first girl child they put in the septic tank

Come to the loud, feral 

Herland, SheLand, Theyland. 

A Queenopolis, Cisopolis, Transopolis 

A Republic of personhood. 

I am the map.

We are the map.

‘We are the Map’; is an ekphrasis / intimate, immersive sound response located in Gallery Two, by writer Sinéad Gleeson and composer Stephen Shannon. Gleeson was originally paired with Maher and Fallon to write a text in response to the work in Gallery 1 for the catalogue publication –– but from this, a new collaboration developed. It become an integral audio piece, moving from Gleeson’s original text into an immersive soundscape that accompanies ‘The Map’.

Their incantatory sound quest is narrated by an ‘everywoman’ who moves around a new terrain. The everywoman’s freedom of movement is in contrast to the many women who were unable to escape the laundries, mother & baby homes or homes where they worked non-stop.

‘We are the Map’ is divided into 24 sections echoing the 24 books of the Odyssey. It’s a journey, a pilgrim’s progress, a quest through new lands and terrains.

Gleeson and Shannon collaborated on the sound and texture of the piece, adding music from Mary Barnecutt, Sadhbh Sullivan and Matthew Nolan. It builds to a final chorus of 36 individual voices united in a mantra; their herstories filling areas of Mahers and Fallon’s mappa mundi. Voices such as Lynn Ruane, Catherine Corless, Vicky Phelan, Ailbhe Smith, Felicia Speaks, Rosaleen Mc Donagh, Olwyn Fouéré, Marian Keyes, local women from Tallaght and the Magdalene artists themselves. They all carry their own stories that now inhabit The Map. 

Rua Red

Rua Red is a contemporary art space housing two galleries, a theatre/cinema, a dance studio, a conference room, a digital media suite, recording facilities, music rooms, workshop areas, artist’s studios, office space and a café.

Rua Red exhibit the work of established Irish and International artists who are committed to producing work within a socio political framework. The education programme reflects the organisations interests with place, politics and people through a challenging programme of events, workshops, screenings and performances that allow audiences and visitors to engage with the exhibitions through the mediums of music, dance, theatre and visual art.

In addition to Rua Red’s programme the organisation also houses and works alongside a number of independent creative organisations and individuals through the provision of office spaces. Rua Red also provide subsidised artist studios which practising artists can hire at a subsidised rate for 1-3 years.


Rua Red is committed to providing a fully accessible experience for all visitors. We are constantly working to try and improve our facilities to make them as accessible as possible. If you have any suggestions as to how we could improve please let us know. For assistance with planning your visit around contact reception on 01 451 5860 or email info@ruared.ie.

Information Desk

Rua Red’s Reception is located straight on from the main entrance. Staff are happy to help with any questions you have.

Lift Access

Our entrance is at street level and all the galleries are wheelchair and buggy accessible. All levels are lift-accessible. A large lift beside the reception area provides access to all floors.

Toilets & baby care facilities

There are accessible toilets on each level and baby changing facilities are available on the ground floor.

Assistance Animals

Guide dogs, hearing and registered assistance dogs are welcome. Staff can provide a bowl of water.

Sound enhancement system / Induction loops

Hearing induction loops are fitted at the reception desk and Infra~Hear infrared assistive listening devices are available for use in our Performance Space.

Subtitles and transcripts

Transcripts are available for selected exhibitions. Please contact the Reception Desk in advance on 01 451 5860 or email info@ruared.ie


2 hours free parking is available in the close by Square Towncentre Car Park. €3 for 2 hours parking is available in the close by Euro Car Parks. Check Parkopedia for full information and best options.

Organisations Involved / Partner Organisation(s):

Venue Information:

County Hall, Belgard Square North
Dublin 24, D24 KV8N
View Venue Website