Margaret Cousins Commission awarded to visual artist Eimear Walshe
Roscommon County Council funded through Creative Ireland is delighted to award The Margaret Cousins Commission to artist Eimear Walshe. This marks the first in a series of visual art commissions for County Roscommon celebrating our extraordinary citizens through exceptional and unexpected visual art projects. Artists across the country were invited to submit their ideas for exceptional ways of commemorating extraordinary people.
Margaret (Gretta) Cousins, theosophist and feminist, was born Margaret Gillespie, daughter of a law clerk, in Boyle, Co Roscommon, and lived out her commitments on two continents.
Cousins was an Irish-Indian educationist, suffragist and Theosophist, and among her many achievements, she established All India Women’s Conference (AIWC) in 1927. Cousins co-founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League with Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington in 1908, serving as its first treasurer. In 1910 she was one of six Dublin women attending the Parliament of Women, which attempted to march to the House of Commons to hand a resolution to the Prime Minister. In 1916, she became the first non-Indian member of the Indian Women’s University at Poona. In 1917 Cousins co-founded the Women’s Indian Association with Annie Besant and Dorothy Jinarajadasa. In 1919–20 Cousins was the first Head of the National Girls’ School at Mangalore. In 1922, she became the first woman magistrate in India. In 1927, she co-founded the All India Women’s Conference, serving as its President in 1936.
Eimear Walshe is an artist, writer, educator, and two-time Research Fellow at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.
In response to Cousin’s great achievements and influence on the feminist movement, Eimear Walshe will be recording a radio play audio and producing a small publication comprising the play script and two specially commissioned essays. The radio play centres on Margaret Cousins as an international figure, incorporating Cousin’s theory, biography and musical work. The text will focus on the subject of marriage, both as personal element of Cousin’s life, and a subject of her political writing and campaigning. It will hold sensitivity to the context of Cousin’s own background in county Roscommon, and as a white woman working in India. The radio play will be written in consultation with two key collaborators, Maisie Gately, the artist’s grandmother and former ICA member, and Dyuti Chakravarty, a PhD student at the school of Sociology in UCD.
The commission will be completed in early 2019.
For further information contact Roscommon County Council curator in residence, Linda Shevlin. firstname.lastname@example.org