Sunday, 11 September 2016

Tuam Spirit Babies - Holly Mullarkey's Porcelain Shoes

Art and poem by Holly Mullarkey to the memory of the 'Home Babies.'
The box below says 'gifts direct' on the ribbon, a subtle reference to fostering and adoption but it also has the pitch black coffin like appearance. With the porcelain bootees encased within, it's a powerful piece by Holly Mullarkey which was made as an immediate response to the findings of the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home over two years ago.#Tuamspiritbabies 
To the memory of the 'Home Babies' by Holly Mullarkey
 The porcelain bootees have a pinched and tired quality to them, worn and worn out. Lined up in pairs they are powerfully evocative. The snowflake ribbon reminds us of the purity and fragility of new life and the individual within the group but it also has a further connection to the present generation who are often referred to to as 'Generation snowflake' - Author Claire Fox argues we created Generation Snowflake by over-protecting them as children. In the UK, Tom Bennett was recruited by the government to address behaviour in schools. He commented that Generation Snowflake children at school can be over-protected from reality, leading to problems when they progress to university and are confronted with real-world truths. They can react with intolerance towards people and things that they believe may offend someone. (wikipedia)

A stark contrast to the 'Home Children.'
The art and poem by Holly Mullarkey will be displayed alongside other contributions at an exhibition space in Tuam on Wed. November 2nd (All Soul's Day.) Details to follow.
Porcelain Shoes to the memory of the 'Home Babies' by Holly Mullarkey
Porcelain Shoes

Porcelain feet
Born out of
The Great Mystery
Of life
Out cast
I cast
For your Holy Feet
Porcelain Shoes
To wear
In Heaven
I sculpt
Fine Porcelain vessels
For your soles
Little feet
Mother alone
In chid-birth
Out cast
I cast
From fine white clay
Little coffins
To carry you
I place these coffins
On Knoc Ma
Fairy Hill
Over looking Tuam Hinterlands
A silent prayer offering
Elevated womb
Holding sacred memories
Of child birth cries
I kneel
I place
This prayer into
Elevated Silence.
                           By Holly Mullarkey

Holly Mullarkey - Photo by Mike Shaughnessy for the Galway Advertiser

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