Bishop Brigid at the Brigit Festival Dublin 2024, photograph by Joseph Carr
Bishop Brigid was performed as part of the February 2024 Brigit Festival Celebrating Women in Dublin. She appeared as the Grand Marshal of the inaugural Saint Brigid’s Parade from Wolfe Tone Square to O’Connell Street’s General Post Office on 5th February, the new Irish National Holiday to celebrate our matron saint.
Watch Bishop Brigid at the Brigit Festival Dublin 2024:
Bishop Brigid showered blessings, joy and feminist satire upon the parade audience and passersby. The original Brigid of Kildare was ordained a Catholic bishop in the 5th century according to multiple medieval accounts. Performing Brigid as a female saint in the context of a high ranking member of church hierarchy makes a clear statement about the role of women in a powerful religious organisation that has demoted, oppressed and exploited Irish women and children in the past.
She was previously performed as part of Saint Brigid’s festival in 2023 on the streets of Galway as part of Herstory Illuminates series of events around Ireland.
“Remarkable for the intensity of feeling she brings to her practice, Phillips has in particular explored the iconography of femininity as it relates the realities of experience within inherited structures that determine political, religious and gender identities.”
Aidan Dunne - The Irish Times, August 2012
Áine Phillips is a performance artist based in Galway, exhibiting and performing in Ireland and internationally since the late 80’s. She creates work for multiple contexts; public art commissions, the street, club events, galleries, theatres and museums. Her work is powered by feminist philosophy, ethics and politics: using art to comment and make propositions on subjectivity, gender and social change.
She is also a writer and teacher, promoting and advocating for performance and live art as a creative force for cultural and personal transformation. She has worked extensively as a curator and organiser of performance events in Ireland and the UK. She is Head of Sculpture at Burren College of Art since 1999. In 2015, she authored and edited 'Performance Art in Ireland: A History’ (Live Art Development Agency/ Intellect Books UK) and publishes regularly in visual art journals, books and online platforms.
Performance Art in Ireland:A History:
Her performative video works and art films have been screened internationally at festivals and exhibitions. Her work has been supported and collected by the Arts Council of Ireland and the National Museum of Ireland.