Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Six artists commissioned to create a series of new portraits of historical female leaders in healthcare

24 July 2018

Today, RCSI, Accenture and Business to Arts announced the six artists commissioned to create a series of new portraits of historical female leaders in healthcare at RCSI.

Women on Walls at RCSI in partnership with Accenture will recognise the pioneering achievements of a group of extraordinary women and enhance the visibility of historical female leaders in healthcare. The new portraits will hang in the Board Room of RCSI’s historic building on St Stephen’s Green.

In March 2018, artists were invited to submit a proposal to Business to Arts, project managers of the initiative. A selection committee carefully considered more than fifty-five submissions in order to identify the eight successful proposals made by six artists. The group of artists will now work with RCSI archivists to research further their subjects and develop their concepts. It is anticipated that completed artworks will be unveiled in spring 2019. Further information is available here.

The following artists have been commissioned to complete 8 individual portraits:

Commissioned artist Subject
Catherine Creaney Dr Barbara Maive Stokes (1922 – 2009)
Enda Griffin Sr and Dr Maura Lynch (1938 – 2017)
Molly Judd Dr Victoria Coffey (1911 – 1999)
Molly Judd Dr Mary Josephine Hannan (1865 – 1935
William Nathans Mary Frances Crowley (1906 – 1990)
Mick O’Dea Dr (Emily) Winifred Dickson (1866 – 1944)
Mick O’Dea Dr Mary Somerville Parker Strangman (1872 – 1943)
Benita Stoney Dr Margaret (Pearl) Dunleavy (1909 – 2002)

Welcoming today’s announcement of the six selected artists, Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO, RCSI said: “Promoting greater gender diversity in healthcare is an important strategic priority for RCSI. By shining a light on the women of RCSI who broke boundaries to become leaders in medicine and healthcare, we hope to provide inspiration for current and future generations of women. We are delighted that such a talented and diverse group of artists will now begin their work on a series of portraits which will bring the legacy of these women to life and we look forward to seeing the completed portraits hang in our historic St Stephen’s Green building.”

 Women on Walls

Pictured (L-R): Artists Enda Griffin and Mick O Dea; with Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director, and Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Accenture Ireland; Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive, RCSI and artists Molly Judd, Benita Stoney, and Catherine Creaney with Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts at the new surgical training suite at 26 York Street.

Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director, and Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Accenture in Ireland added: “Today is a very important day in the Women on Walls campaign. Accenture, RCSI and Business to Arts set out on this journey earlier in the year with an ambition to change how we look at gender inequality in medicine, and to start to represent the many, often overlooked, contributions of women in healthcare in order to inspire future generations. I am delighted that we also will have great diversity in the artists selected for this important commission to hang on the walls of the historic RCSI building.”

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts said: “Alongside our partners, RCSI and Accenture, we are thrilled to be working with some of Ireland’s foremost portrait artists on this important initiative. Through portraiture, these artworks celebrate and represent the extraordinary achievements and legacy of female RCSI Fellows and graduates. We look forward to the public unveiling in 2019.”

RCSI is committed to promoting gender equality among staff and students for the advancement of the College’s mission to educate, nurture and discover for the benefit of human health. RCSI is a signatory of Athena Swan, a Charter that recognises and celebrates good practice towards the advancement of gender equality and enables representation, progression and success for all.

Women on Walls is a campaign that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits that will create a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland. Accenture’s Women on Walls began in 2016 with the Royal Irish Academy.