The artist behind the semi-naked performance art at the ArtCo Gallery in Letterkenny yesterday has spoken about it.

Bernadette Hopkins, who painted 'The Broken Column' by Frida Kahlo onto fellow artist Áilbhe Hines, has said of the performance, "The wider context was International Women's Day and the performance was essentially about inequality and power and how those in a position of power decide worth and control artistic language. There are many forms of suppression in society in the guise of ‘cultural and community’ sensitivity. Lack of freedom of expression denies us new ideas and discussion that is necessary in a healthy society."

She went on to quote another artist, Holly Hinchliffe, who said: "The society we inhabit today is one in which the female experience is largely underrepresented. The very notions that women menstruate, excrete or grow hair below their heads are notions which cause society to wrinkle their noses, squirm, or turn a blind eye. It is unbelievable, nasty, shockingly laughable, that art created by Frida Kahlo in the 1930s – art dealing with conception, pregnancy, abortion and gender roles – had the same reeling effect upon society that contemporary artists of today such as Petra Collins, Rapi Kaur and Marlene Dumas have. Stereotypically they are deemed ‘controversial’. The extent of society’s intransigence is shocking."

Áilbhe Hines is a writer and performance artist and has a Master's in Drama Therapy. Hopkins is a painter and performance artist with an Honours degree in Fine Art and Painting. Dr Aodán McCardle, who read out a poem (below), is a writer and performance artist and editor of Veer Books with a Phd in English Literature.

Richard Noble, who took the photo, currently has an exhibition chronicling his career's work at the Regional Cultural Centre (RCC) in Letterkenny.

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