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RTE Television

Women on Walls

Women on Walls is a 52-minute documentary following the campaign by Accenture in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy which seeks to make women leaders visible and to inspire the next generation. The campaign honours the 1st four female members of the RIA and shines a spotlight on 8 living scientists, leaders in their fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) For the first-time in the institution's 230-year history, twelve women academics have their portraits painted and hung in Academy House, Dawson Street. In this fascinating documentary programme, we go behind the scenes to reveal the significance of the event, follow the artists at work and capture our own portraits of the subjects themselves, both past and present.

Women on Walls

For the first time in its 230 year history the prestigious Royal Irish Academy will hang painted portraits of female academics on its walls. Against a backdrop of increasing spotlight on gender issues and gender equality, award winning artists Blaise Smith and Vera Klute are challenged with painting these portraits and celebrating extraordinary Irish women, past and present from sciences and humanities.

Programme Description

Women on Walls is a 52-minute documentary for RT One following the campaign by Accenture in partnership with the Royal Irish Academy which seeks to make women leaders visible and to inspire the next generation. The campaign honours the 1st four female members of the RIA and shines a spotlight on 8 living scientists, leaders in their fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) For the first-time in the institution's 230-year history, twelve women academics have their portraits painted and hung in Academy House, Dawson Street. In this fascinating documentary programme, we go behind the scenes to reveal the significance of the event, follow the artists at work and capture our own portraits of the subjects themselves, both past and present.

With eight living scientists - all recipients of the prestigious European Research Starter Grant - and four deceased members set to have their portraits painted by eminent Irish portrait artists Vera Klute and Blaise Smith, we will explore the significance of the event to transform the documentary into a timely discussion about the role of women in STEM, and gender equality as a whole.

Engaging with the artists and using their own research process as a core tool, we examine how the creative choices have been influenced by the lives of the subjects themselves and their families. Observing the development of each portrait, we uncover an artistic endeavour of huge resonance and historic significance as well as artistic importance. Revealing the final pieces to both the subjects and their descendants, we capture the pride in the resulting artwork, the pride in the subject's own achievements and the pride of all those involved in the placement of the paintings within Academy House.

Within this crafted documentary programme, an artistic endeavour is transformed into an event of national and international importance to create an accessible window into issues related to gender, representation and art, issues that are especially relevant in this decade of anniversaries.

Women on Walls