Presented by Jessica Akerman as part of FALL/OUT, curated by festival visual arts curators in residence, Pluck Projects.
Cork Caryatids celebrates the history and strength, physical and symbolic, of female labour in Cork. This series of banners makes reference to the Shawlies, Cork's famous street traders, but also points to larger stories of changing labour practices and the ways in which these changes to the ways in which we work impact the urban landscape. Akerman's imagery draws on the history of caryatids, carved female figures which were used as pillars in Classical architecture. Caryatids were mythological women subjected to the hard labour of holding up a heavy temple, but were also associated with celebratory rituals where the women would wear baskets of fruit on their heads. The graphic design of the banners uses the layout of Excel sheets, each cell filled with vivd colour, to engage with contemporary office based work practice and the new architectural landscape in Cork that accommodates this new digital labour.