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Create and National Women’s Council Artist Residency Award Recipient: Grace Dyas
Grace Dyas performing in NOT AT HOME in The Glens Manorhamilton Small. Photo: Dean Ryan McDaid

Create and National Women’s Council Artist Residency Award Recipient: Grace Dyas

News, Recipients


Create and The National Women’s Council (NWC) are delighted to announce artist and activist Grace Dyas as the recipient of an Artist Residency Award.

2023 marks the 50th anniversary of NWC, the leading representative organisation for women and women’s groups in Ireland. Established in 1973 as the Council for the Status of Women, NWC today has over 190 member groups representing women in their diversity from across the island of Ireland and a large and growing community of individual supporters.

This anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements for women and women’s rights in Ireland and recognise the important, often invisible, contribution of women’s organisations and activists in bringing about this positive change. NWC are setting out to achieve this through a combination of creative approaches and engagements, discussion and debates as well as celebratory events and moments throughout the year. The Artist Residency Award is a key artistic strand of these activities. The residency is supported by funding from The Arts Council / An Comhairle Ealaíon.

Grace Dyas is an established artist and activist with nearly twenty years of experience making socially engaged art. She often engages with people who have survived trauma, making work collaboratively about social justice issues. Grace employs the mediums of live performance (theatre), film, installation and conceptual art, over the past decade creating landmark works of art which raise provocative questions about power, ethics, morality, class and social justice.

Grace says “I am only delighted to have been chosen to spend time and make work with the members of the National Women’s Council across the country exploring the last fifty years of feminist struggle on this island. My practice is focused on how art can hold opposing truths.  I look forward to making art that facilitates a celebration of the collaboration, critical thinking, and love that makes up the legacy of the National Women’s Council on their 50th anniversary”.

Orla O’Connor, Director of the National Women’s Council, says “We are delighted to announce Grace Dyas as our Artist in Residency as part of our 50 years celebrations. This project will be a unique opportunity to engage creatively with our broad and diverse membership, reflecting on the achievements for women’s rights and equality over the past five decades and imagining our feminist future for the next 50 years to come.”

Damien McGlynn, Director of Create, says “Create is proud to be collaborating with the National Women’s Council as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. The opportunity for an experienced socially-engaged artist to work with the membership of such a significant national organisation is incredibly exciting and we are delighted to have made the award to Grace Dyas. Grace brings a fantastic track record of work which delves deep into the way we think and the way we connect with each other. We are looking forward to supporting the artist in engaging with the diverse membership of NWC and sharing the stories that emerge.”

The residency will take place during the 50th anniversary year of the National Women’s Council in 2023. The artist in residence will be embedded within NWC and work collaboratively with member organisations to identify the subjects and issues that matter most to them. There is no prescribed output at the outset of the residency as the emphasis is on providing the artist and member organisations with the time and space to hold exploratory conversations and see what emerges in an organic process.