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Celebrating Irish Women’s Creativity on St Brigid’s Day at the Irish Embassy with President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins

February 19, 2018

With thanks to Angela Brady, OBE, PPRIBA FRIAI

Irish Women are standing up and being counted and on Sunday 20th March the St Patrick’s Parade will also feature Irish Women with Sadiq Khan in London.

On the first day of Spring – 1st Feb – which is St Brigid’s Day, there were 300 hundred Irish women (and a few chaps) at the first celebration of Irish Women’s Creativity at the Irish Embassy in London. Creative areas celebrated include Music, Poetry, Art, Architecture, Journalism, Fashion, Cookery and Design.

One of the many talks running in three of the lecture rooms at the same time, was our own “in conversation with” the fab Una Burke, designer to the stars. She and I were talking about the relationship between Architecture and Fashion.

We compared some of Una’s hand made leatherwork clothes for Lady Gaga and Madonna for their on stage performances – with our new garden pavilion project for the Crown Plaza Hotel in Kensington. Both have very visible curved structures on show. (See images above).

The surprise guests on the day were the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina. This new celebration was an idea by Irish Ambassador Adrian O’Neill. One of the special singers was the wonderful CamilleO’Sullivan (above in red hat) and the day was compered by the fab and funny comedian PaulineMcLynn.

It is hoped that St Brigid’s Day will continue from now on to celebrate the skills of Creative Irish Women around the world on 1st Feb every year.

WIN – Women’s Irish Network – Chair Cecilia Gallagher with Maeve Staunton, architect, who designed the St Brigid’s Cross sculpture with inspirational words. Looking down from top of stairs it reads like a St Brigid’s Cross on plan.

The St Brigid’s day event was successfully directed by Consultant Producer Alison Mc Kenna Liepmann (Pictured below) for St. Brigid’s Day at the Irish Embassy London

We were also celebrating Irish #WomenInArchitecture of which there are many. A selection of 8 women in architecture panels (above) were part of the overall exhibitions along with a model of one part of their project.

Each of the architects was asked to feature one current project and illustrate one 3D detail and to share “what advice they would give to school girls wishing to start a career in architecture” or “what special understanding do women bring to architecture”.

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Many thanks to The Lord Mayor of Belfast, The Rt Hon Deirdre Hargey for hosting the IYF (UK) Northern Ireland Awards Ceremony at Belfast City Hall. Brilliant day and congratulations to all the participants! .
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  • ✨ @EmmaDabiri might be one of the most interesting Irish people we know. This interview is about her recent book 'Don't touch my hair' and it is well worth reading! Hope you are all looking forward to the members event on March 4th for #IWD2019 when Emma will join us and talk about her story.
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It's a sweltering afternoon and on a quiet London side street, outside an impossibly chic bakery (it's where Meghan and Harry had their wedding cake made), academic, author and former-model Emma Dabiri is taking a well-earned break from working on the final manuscript for her forthcoming book: Don't Touch My Hair.
Before we meet I half considered this a slightly redundant admonition for polite society - why would anyone, bar someone with latent Harvey Weinstein tendencies, touch a woman's hair unbidden? - but, in person, you can see where the temptation might arise. In this most genteel of settings, Emma's hair is an event, a happening, a lustrously-beautiful nimbus that frames her fine features. Curiosity and generations of cultural racism seem to spur the urge to pet it, stroke it. I heroically resist, but others are not so strong.
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"A few weeks ago a woman reached out to touch my hair on the tube and as she put out her hand she said 'wait… you don't like that, do you?' It was as though some dim memory of editorials she'd read somewhere, came bursting through; she remembered and held herself back a bit.
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Growing up in Dublin, it happened all the time. It was constant. Often kids would just say "oh my God, look at her hair, it's mad" and come right over and have a feel and a chat", she recalls. "It felt strange and objectifying. I found it strange because I wouldn't even touch someone's dog without asking them. I never questioned all of the treatments (that are used to 'relax' black hair) but they weren't always available to me because it's difficult to get those products in Ireland. My mum would work in Liverpool or Manchester, and there you could get a curly perm, which is sort of like defined curls, rather than afro hair.
  • We went to see the @dior exhibition at the @vamuseum curated by Irish woman Oriole Cullen - and it’s great! Go see it ✨
  • Chef Anna Haugh explains how special it is to use food from Irish Female Producers at last night’s @bordbia #StBrigidsDay dinner in Selfridges
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#irish #irishabroad #irishwomen #farmtoplate #femaleproducers #womenwhofarm #womeninag #womeninagriculture #womeninfood
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  • An incredible night of Irish food and wine celebrating #StBrigidsDay - Thanks to the amazing chef Anna Haugh, @bordbia, @irishembassyuk, @killahora and @theofficialselfridges for a great evening of Irish produce #Irish #irishabroad #irishproduce #farmtoplate

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