A new powerful virtual art exhibition called “Stay with Me” which was inspired by the story of the Tuam Babies, will be screened tonight on social media, Wednesday 29th July at 7:30pm.
The group art show was filmed during the coronavirus lockdown to show solidarity with the Mother and Baby homes survivors who are currently anxiously awaiting the final report by the Commission of Inquiry. The report, which was due to be published in June, but has been delayed until October.
The show features work from 33 artists, including Alison Lowry, who is currently exhibiting “(A)dressing our Hidden Truths” at Collins Barracks and Melissa Curry, who has presented jewellery to Michelle Obama, as well as fine artist Veronica Buchanan and former heroin addict and activist Rachael Keogh.
This year’s show combines modern losses with past losses and will highlight how no excavation has taken place yet for the Tuam Babies.
Families of children who died tragically in Ireland in recent years, including Ana Kriégel, Eoghan and Ruairi Chada, Estlin Wall and Glen Osborne have loaned their art to the exhibition in support of Ireland’s forgotten children.
The show, which will be launched by RTE Journalist Philip Boucher-Hayes, will feature a video of the artworks shot at various locations around Ireland as well as a studio discussion with adult adoptee and survivor Breda Tuite. Ms Tuite recently found her biological mother’s family after searching for years for her mother who died before they could meet each other.
It will be streamed live on the Remembering Tuam Babies Facebook page, as well as the stay_with_me_art Instagram page, and YouTube channel Stay With Me art show. The show which was directed and curated by journalist and author Alison O’Reilly. Ms O’Reilly broke the story of the Tuam babies’ burial scandal in 2014 and has written the book on the home, My Name Is Bridget, by Gill publishers.
Kathleen Chada, whose two sons Eoghan and Ruairi were murdered by their father Sanjeev Chada and whose artwork will appear in the exhibition has advocated for the “voice of the child” even after death.
“It is poignant for me because the 29th July is the boy’s anniversary. There is something very unique about losing a child- you’re almost trying to live their life for them, the life that they don’t have anymore. I want Eoghan and Ruairi to have more than their ten and five years on this earth. They didn’t have to die. That’s why it is important for me to be their voice and the show will help with this. These children cannot be forgotten, no child should. You want your child to exist, they need to be heard and need to be seen in a way. It’s very easy for life and society to just move on but as parents, we can’t. But we also can’t get stuck, so we bring them with us. How many children are out there who have never had a voice? If others weren’t highlighting these children in the institutions, then who will.