Statue for Maud Gonne Campaign: Update #1

This is the first update about the campaign to see a monumental statue of Maud Gonne in O'Connell St, Dublin (see our AI artist's impression above but we currently have the fabulous artist ). The campaign will formally launch in July 2024, on the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter,

Once the Kickstarter campaign begins, updates will be over there, so if you want to be notified when the campaign launches, sign up for notifications there at OrnaRoss.com/MoreThanAMuse

This campaign aims to connect a body of people who want to see Maud Gonne honoured with a statue in Dublin–and to make it happen.

Throughout the 20th century, much of the scholarship surrounding Maud Gonne focused on her interactions with the men in her life: her long relationship with Lucien Millevoye, her marriage to Easter Rising martyr John MacBride, and of course her her role as muse and obsessive talking point of W.B. Yeats.

Our campaign and my books highlight not just her own achievements in her own right, but how she is an exemplar of the many ways in which women's contributions at every level of society are misinterpreted, minimised and overlooked.

And how this must now change.

Maud Gonne's Statue: We Need Help

This campaign is a significant project, involving various steps and supported by various people and entities, including Gonne's descendants and relatives, local government in Dublin, writers, artists, and historians

We are interested in hearing from all writers, historians, feminist and literary scholars local communities, cultural organizations, and groups with an interest in Irish history and women's rights. and others who want to see a monumental statue of Maud Gonne striding down the street, to inspire future generations of girls and women, boys and men.

The first aim of the campaign is to commemorate and celebrate Maud Gonne’s political and cultural achievements, generate interest and awareness, and demonstrate public support for the statue.

These are some of the jobs we're currently thinking about. There is more, lots more, to be done. Does any of this sound like your idea of fun?

Planning

  • Budget: Estimating the costs, including artist commission, materials, site preparation, and ongoing maintenance.
  • Funding Sources:
    • Crowdfunding, organizations and individuals
    • Grants from cultural or historical societies
    • Sponsorship from local businesses
    • Support from cultural funding bodies
    • What else?
  • Artist Commission 
    • Create artist's impression of statue
    • Review process to draw up a panel of artists for consideration
    • Artist selection process
  • Obtain Permissions
    • Local Government: Application / approvals process (city council / urban planning departments)
    • Work closely with the selected artist to ensure the statue reflects the intended design and historical accuracy
    • What else?

Installation

  • Site Selection: Secure a location for the statue. Ideal locations might be places significant to Maud Gonne's life or where her impact was most felt. Current thought is pedestrian aisle in O'Connell St, near the GPO
  • Logistics: Organize the practical aspects of installing the statue, including transportation, construction, and any necessary site preparation.
  • Unveiling Ceremony: Event to unveil the statue, inviting community members, descendants of Maud Gonne, historians, and media
  • What else?

Afterwards

  • Informational Plaque: Include a plaque or informational display to educate the public about Maud Gonne's life and contributions.
  • Educational Programs: Partner with schools and cultural organizations to create educational programs around the statue and what it represents.
  • Ongoing Maintenance Plan: Plan and budget in place for the ongoing cleaning, repair, and preservation of the statue.
  • What else?

Each step of the process, including permissions, designs, meetings, and financial transactions will be documented, both for accountability and as a guide for future projects for other groups

Each of these steps involves detailed planning and coordination. Please let me know if you can help by writing to orna [at] ornaross.com

 

Does Maud Gonne deserve a statue in Dublin? Of Course She Does

I thought you might also enjoy this poem about Dublin statues by Katie Martin.

As this poem by Katie Martyn shows, except for Countess Markievicz. who has more than one monument, the best-known female statues on the streets of Dublin are not real women, known for real achievement, but creatures of the imagination: Molly Malone on Grafton St and the Talking Ladies on Mary St, known to Dublin wits as “The Tart with the Cart” and The Hags with the Bags”.

Our Statues Go Unwatched 

Outside Trinity, Edmund Burke
removes his pocket handkerchief
to rub the pigeon droppings from his brow.
Oliver Goldsmith puts down the book
he has been reading since 1864.
Molly Malone, immune to fever, drops her barrow
and enjoys a stroll, no eyes on her breasts.
Daniel O'Connell descends from his granite plinth
to inspect the bullet holes in Courage's chest.
Connolly meets Larkin at Liberty Hall to discuss
the next stage in the collective struggle.
Joyce retraces Leopold's steps
but Barney Kiernan's and Davy Byrne's are closed.
The two Luke Kellys unleash a guttural punch
The Auld Triangle in unison across the dirty river.
The hair stands on the Talking Ladies' necks;
they soon return to putting this crumbling world in order.
Countess Markievicz strides with purpose towards
the waking famine sculptures on the North Dock.
Oscar Wilde has seen death in Man's eyes
and decides it is preferable to remain reclined.

Be part of something great

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It's going to be epic. Create history with us.