Breda Lynch, Lorraine Cleary, 

Sara McCarroll, Sarah Jane Booth, Vera Ryklova

Curated by Simon Fennessy (GOMA’s Emerging Curator Awardee)

GOMA, Gallery of Modern Art, Waterford are delighted to invite you to Burn the Witch, Still I Rise and exhibition Curated by Simon Fennessy (GOMA’s 2023 Emerging Curator Awardee).

This exhibition, explores how contemporary artists are using the same defiance in their work to explore the power of the witch as a symbol of and testament to resilience, empowerment, and the unyielding spirit of women. Fuelled by the contemporary struggles of misinformation, isolation, and violence against women. Through a fusion of art, history, and raw emotion, we challenge false narratives and confront the harsh realities faced by women, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in significant domestic violence increases coupled with severe isolation.

In contemporary art, the symbol of the witch has been reclaimed and redefined, serving as a powerful and multifaceted symbol that challenges traditional stereotypes and empowers marginalized voices. Artists have explored the witch archetype in various mediums, using it to confront social issues, feminism, identity, and spirituality. In the Irish context, the witch represents a symbol of feminist empowerment and independence, echoing the struggles of Irish women throughout history. Artists use the witch archetype to address issues such as reproductive rights, gender equality, and the fight against societal constraints. 

Burn the Witch – Still I Rise” serves as a reminder of the strength within us all, encouraging open dialogue, understanding, and empathy.