‘Unearthing, Tuam blossoms’.
Back In 2014, when the news broke of Catherine’s findings regarding the Tuam babies I was shocked and filled with profound sadness, compassion and anger. I felt compelled to do something, but the only way I could express this was through my art.
I thought back to my own experience of loss and grief and how the simple act of laying flowers helped, It was a final token of love and respect. It made me think of all that was robbed from these babies and children when they were so cruelly discarded in this septic tank. These 796 hand crafted, white porcelain roses are in honour and dedication to the memory of all the Tuam babies and their mothers.
In the centre of each rose I have made an individual and uniquely sculpted little face. Each face represents one of the babies and children that died while in the Tuam mother and baby home. Babies as young as baby boy, Walsh 10 minutes old, little Patrick 1year 1 month old, to little Maud , 61/2 years old To the oldest little girl Kathleen, 91/2 years old.
These two little girls stand out because my own two granddaughters are of the same age I look at them and can not comprehend what children like Kathleen and Maud endured during their short lives in the so called care of the Irish state and religious orders. The rose itself represents the babies mothers.
Each petal is hand made and formed to lovingly cradle and protect her baby in the centre, connecting the two forever. The white porcelain captures the essence of the child’s innocence and purity and both the fragility and strength of their mothers. This instillation is called ‘Unearthing, Tuam blossoms’.
It has taken me two years to complete . During that time I just wanted to honour the babies, To show them the love and kindness they were not afforded in life or death. That is Until now, thanks to the tireless fighting from Catherine, the survivor, there families and people like you.
These baby’s of Tuam will finally receive a dignified and fitting resting place Now my thoughts are not only with the babies and mothers of Tuam but also with the survivors of all these horrific institutions, as they wait for justice.
I hope with continued support from like minded people who seek fairness and justice, we can continue to put pressure on the church and state to do the right thing for survivors and families.