The Lady on the Rock is a strong symbol of the working class community. She is pride of place in many Northside windows. The immaculate, gleaming white statue is merely a decoration for most but for me she is a celebration of my working class roots.
She is a signifier of the female gaze throughout our fair city. Every time I bring my dog for a walk, there she is looking down at me, a reminder of who I am.
This personal exploration has encouraged me to delve deeper into my own experience as a young woman growing up in Coolock. I have always been surrounded by such amazing, influential women including my Ma, my Nannies and my best friends. I am eternally grateful to these women. I want to make work that makes them proud of me. The Lady on the Rock has given me confidence, I now know I don’t have to look far for inspiration, she’s been with me my whole life. Now I see her and I hope she sees me.
Lockdown was hard for us all, I’m at my best when I’m creative and working hard. When that was taken away from me I was lost. I couldn’t go anywhere, all I could do was look inside myself. After much staring out the window bored out of my tree I spotted someone else staring out of the window, The Lady on the Rock. So I called my best friend Liadh and told her I wanted to recreate myself as The Lady on the Rock. After endless meandering voice notes our idea was born, we were going to take back our city. Without Liadh this wouldn’t have been possible.
We set up in Liadh’s back garden with her Ma’s best white bed sheets and recreated our own interpretation of The Lady on the Rock. Following this, we decided to print and plaster the images around locations in Dublin that matter to us, creating a journey, using the city as a platform to exhibit our project ‘The Lady of The Northside’ and to give our streets a new lease of life during this strange and uncertain time.
This is an ongoing project which I’m very excited to continue working on… keep your eyes peeled #zoëontherock
If there is one thing I love more than Ireland, it’s Dublin.
Art Direction & Model – Zoe Redmond
Photographer – Liadh Connolly
Like this? Check out The Lady on The Rock: Tracing the Phenomenon of Dublin’s Own Venus de Milo