An Act of Madness - 3D virtual exhibition by Suella Holland

An Act of Madness

Thu, 09/03/2020 to Sun, 10/25/2020

curated by:

An Act of Madness is a piece of historical fiction focussing on one woman’s story but which echoes that of thousands of Irish people stigmatised, maltreated and largely forgotten by 20th Century Irish society. Psychiatric institutions throughout Ireland admitted large numbers of people deemed outcasts by society at the time. Those marginalised included people with intellectual or physical disabilities, psychological or psychiatric illness, or those who were considered eccentric, standing out in society as differing from ‘the norm’.

The photographs in An Act of Madness aim to give a sense of time and place to the story. The central character is Bridget, a 37-year-old pregnant mother of nine children who dreams of something more for her life. Physically and psychologically exhausted by the demands made upon her, she questions her role and life’s journey. She wishes simply to stop, to breathe, to think. Unwilling and unable to conform to societal expectations and its authoritarian institutions, her strength of character and singular thinking is met with drastic repercussions. The impact on the individual, those left behind and to follow, speak of a dark chapter in Irish society from which we are only now emerging into the light.

Photographs by Suella Holland
Story written by Martin Towey
Descriptive panels designed by Elena Duff

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