Artist Amanda Coogan standing in profile in front of a portrait of Constance Markievicz in the National Gallery of Ireland.
Artist Amanda Coogan performing beside Casimir Dunin Markievicz (1874-1932), 'The Artist's Wife, Constance, Comtesse de Markievicz (1868-1927)', 1899.Credit

Amanda Coogan \ Floats in the Aether

November 2018 - January 2019

On the centenary of the parliamentary vote for women in Ireland, and the election of Constance Markievicz as the first woman to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, Amanda Coogan was invited to create a new artwork at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Coogan is one of Ireland’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, working in performance, live art, sculpture and installation. Responding to issues relating to gender equality and human rights, Coogan has continually challenged social and political structures through the medium of her own body and collaborative acts.

Floats in the Aether is an ambitious, large-scale performance comprising a series of events involving over 100 women and girls of different backgrounds and social contexts. In each event, Coogan will lead a silent, slow-moving, choreographed procession through the historic rooms of the National Gallery. Each participant will wear a simple cream jacket with gold, purple, orange and green painted details to reflect the colours of the Irish suffrage movement. Coogan believes ‘this performance puts groups of women together in the spirit of community, togetherness, witness and expectation to remember and celebrate the work of the Irish suffragettes and Markievicz’s historic breech of the glass ceiling.’

This project is presented in collaboration with the exhibition Markievicz: Portraits and Propaganda, now on display in Room 31.

Performances are scheduled to take place around three key dates: 6 November (exhibition opening); 14 December (centenary of the 1918 election); and 21 January 2019 (centenary of the formation of the First Dáil).

Performance schedule

Each performance will last approximately 40 minutes, except for the first solo performance on 6 November, which will last for 2 hours.

6 November


Amanda Coogan solo performance 

8 November 


Amanda Coogan with Dublin Theatre of the Deaf

10 November 


Amanda Coogan with students of Loreto High School Beaufort 
13 December 1pm

Amanda Coogan with National Gallery of Ireland Choir

13 December 6.30pm

Amanda Coogan with Fine Art Sculpture students of NCAD

14 December 12.30pm

Amanda Coogan with current TDs and Senators

15 December 2.30pm

Amanda Coogan with practicing artists


17 January 2019  5.50pm

Amanda Coogan with business leaders


19 January 2019 2.30pm

Amanda Coogan with young people


20 January 2019 2.30pm

Amanda Coogan with Women’s History Association of 
Ireland and the National Gallery of Ireland Lifelong Learners

21 January 2019  2.30pm

Amanda Coogan with Sew Last Season

NOTE: If you have mobility issues, and would like to be advised about the best route to take to follow the performance, our staff members will be on hand during the event to assist you.