You Cannot be what you Cannot See!

18th February 2020

An open call to artists for a series of new portraits of outstanding females in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has been announced today at DCU. Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU will recognise the pioneering achievements of a group of extraordinary women and enhance the visibility of female leaders in STEM.

When completed, the new portraits will be hung in The Future-Tech Building located at DCU’s Glasnevin Campus. The flagship building will be at the forefront of DCU’s international reputation for excellence in science, computing and engineering disciplines.

Women on Walls is a campaign that seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits that will create a lasting cultural legacy for Ireland. Accenture’s Women on Walls began in 2016 with the Royal Irish Academy followed by a second campaign with RCSI in 2019.

The following women will feature in Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU; Beatrice Alice Hicks (1919-1979); Katherine Johnson (1918-); Dame Kathleen Lonsdale (1903-1971); Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) and Kathleen (Kay) McNulty (1921-2006).

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Prof Brian MacCraith, the President of DCU said:  “Thanks to the ‘Accenture Women on Walls at DCU’ initiative, DCU will be able to give female STEM pioneers pride of place at the heart of our new Future-Tech building. DCU hopes the presence of these portraits will inspire future generations of female leaders in STEM, based on the powerful idea that ‘you cannot be what you cannot see’. We are delighted that this is happening as we celebrate our 40th year as a higher education institution and it reflects a core value of DCU in our drive to foster equality, diversity and inclusion”.

Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Accenture in Ireland added:  “Accenture is delighted to be working with DCU on the next chapter of Women on Walls. The existing portraits at RIA and RCSI continue to create many important conversations about extraordinary women leaders in Ireland and beyond. As a young undergraduate and post-graduate student, DCU was the place that formed and inspired me and it is a particular honour to be working with DCU on this important commission in the year of their 40th anniversary. I am looking forward to meeting the chosen artists for this commission. They will get the opportunity to paint historical women in STEM including Katherine Johnson, a former NASA mathematician whose calculations were critical to America’s first human spaceflight”.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts said:  “We are proud to work with DCU and Accenture on the next phase of the Women on Walls Campaign. Art is a powerful means of visual communication and these portrait commissions will be seen by students, staff and visitors to the DCU Campus for generations to come. Through portraiture we can acknowledge and celebrate the great achievements of these outstanding women ensuring that Irish and international female academic and industry leaders are visible”.

Artists are welcome to submit a proposal to Business to Arts before 5pm on Friday, 17 April 2020. It is anticipated that the successful artists will be selected in June and that the completed artworks would be launched in Winter 2020. You can find out more by visiting Business to Arts website here>>

Pictured (l-r): Prof Brian MacCraith, President of DCU; Dr Michelle Cullen, Managing Director and Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Accenture in Ireland and Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts.