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Crowned Mayo

CROWNED - Mayo 2023


Crowned is an exploration of hair and identity through story, conversation and artwork from African women living in Mayo. 

It features four women, Celesta Khosa, Ayandolapo Ayannike Abiolu, Rispa Mwang and Maureen Nalubega, from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda. They share life stories and personal narratives that are intertwined with hair – their crowning glory.


Hair is a powerful symbol of individuality, and it is deeply linked to identity, and communicates stories, meanings and memories. 

Crowned is an ongoing project in Ballyhaunis Direct Provision Centre and The Connaught Inn Direct Provision Centre, Castlebar, Co Mayo.


The four women have all lived in Direct Provision and are collaborating with artist Breda Mayock to tell their stories through various media – video, sound, conversation and portraiture.
Crowned Mayo, so far, consists of a collection of portraits and four sound/video pieces by the women who also give talks on the project  accompanied by the video and photography. 


Breda Mayock is a well-known artist and musician, whose previous projects include Crown– Hair & Identity in Traveller Culture,’ 2019-2020 as featured on RTÉ. Exhibitions include, ‘The Narrow Gate of the Here-and-Now, Protest and Conflict, IMMA, 2021-2023;

Guides – Linenhall Arts Centre, curated by Séamus Nolan, 2022; ‘Tangled,’ Municipal Gallery, Dún Laoghaire, 2021. 


Crowned is an opportunity to celebrate the unique, challenging and beautiful aspect of female hair and new Irish communities.

Artist: Breda Mayock
Photography: Brendan Gilmartin
Supported by Creative Ireland and SICAP

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