The Sheela Na Gig Speirbean Project

The Sheela-Na-Gig Speirbean Project, 2005
In 2005, examining Irish culture, I found that the Irish woman was a mythicised creature.
One mythicised version of the Irish woman was the 'Speirbean', a Sky-woman, a beauty, who appeared in the poems of Aoghan O'Raithaille. She personified Ireland.
The memorial to the Four Kerry Poets in Killarney, Ireland is a stone carving of the Speirbhean. Hardly noticed by shoppers, motorists and tourists, she looks over her mystical land, with her hand to her breast, a Christ-like pose.
I ventured to the site on Aghadoe where John Lavery chose as the location for the famous Lady Lavery portrait that appeared on Irish currency.
The Kilsorcan Sheela Na Gig (below) is above the window of one of the remaining walls on the ruins of a church in Co. Kerry. Another type of myth, the Sheela Na Gig stone carvings were thought to have originated in France in the middle ages. The carvings were placed over windows of churches in Ireland in the following centuries, many remaining throughout the country.
Evident on the carvings are the remains of many visits (and gifts presented) to the Sheela, as it was a tradition to rub the Sheela for luck with fertility.