Women on Walls artists announced

Five artists chosen for the Accenture, DCU initiative to celebrate the lives of pioneering women in STEM
Pictured clockwise from bottom left-hand corner: Una Sealy, Blaise Smith, Briìd Higgins Niì Chinneìide, Jim Fitzpatrick, Jackie Hudson Lalor

25 June 2020

Five acclaimed artists have been selected to produce a series of portraits of outstanding females in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) as part of Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU initiative.

This follows an open call issued to artists to create portraits honouring the contributions of Beatrice Alice Hicks, Katherine Johnson, Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, Marie Maynard Daly and Kathleen (Kay) McNulty.

Regarded as pioneers in STEM, these five women have made significant contributions in their specific discipline, through outstanding research work, scientific breakthroughs and lasting cultural and social change for future generations.




Accenture’s Women on Walls are:

  • Beatrice Alice Hicks: (1919-1979) Leading engineer, first president of the Society of Women Engineers, developed a gas density switch used in the USA’s Space Programme, including Apollo 11’s moon landing mission.
  • Katherine Johnson: (1918-2020) Leading mathematician, specialising in orbital mechanics. One of the first Black women to work as a NASA scientist. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honour, in 2017.
  • Dame Kathleen Lonsdale: (1903-1971) Leading X-ray Crystallographer. First female professor at University College London (UCL). Elected as one of the first women Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS), 1945. First woman president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Marie Maynard Daly: (1921-2003) First Black woman in the US to earn a PhD in chemistry. Disclosed the relationship between high cholesterol and clogged arteries. Committed to developing programs to increase the enrolment of minority students in medical school and graduate science programs
  • Kathleen (Kay) McNulty: (1921-2006) Leading mathematician and computer programmer. One of the world’s first computer programmers. One of only three female mathematics graduates in a class of 92 when she graduated in 1942. Responsible for inventing the subroutine. Inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 1997.

The selected artists and their subjects are:

  • Briìd Higgins Niì Chinneìide (commissioned subject Marie Maynard Daly) is a Dublin based figurative painter who works primarily with oil paint, drawing most of her inspiration from people, their faces and their bodies.
  • Jackie Hudson Lalor (commissioned subject Katherine Johnson) is a Louth-based professional visual artist with three distinctive strands to her practice: painting in oils, drawing and printmaking.
  • Una Sealy (commissioned subject Dame Kathleen Lonsdale) is a multi-award-winning Dublin-based figurative painter and member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.
  • Jim Fitzpatrick (commissioned subject Kathleen (Kay) McNulty) is a Dublin-born and based, internationally-acclaimed artist known for his illustration, poster artwork and photography.
  • Blaise Smith (commissioned subject Beatrice Alice Hicks) is a Kilkenny-based figurative painter and member of the Royal Hibernian Academy. A graduate of NCAD, Blaise is adept at landscapes, portraits and still-lives.

Accenture’s Women on Walls campaign aims to acknowledge the achievements of women and enhance the visibility of female leaders in STEM. The commissioned portraits will be hung in the Future-Tech building at DCU’s Glasnevin Campus.

This is the third chapter of Accenture’s Women on Walls series, which commenced in 2016 with the Royal Irish Academy and was repeated in 2019 with RCSI.

“We are delighted to announce the internationally-renowned panel of artists that has been commissioned to create Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU portraits,” said president of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraith. “The calibre of the five artists is a reflection of the five extraordinary and inspirational women they will portray.

“Their life and work has had an important and lasting impact in their respective STEM fields. These portraits will highlight the major historic contribution of women in STEM and we hope that they will inspire all of our students to fulfil their potential.”

Dr Michelle Cullen, managing director and head of inclusion & diversity, Accenture in Ireland added: “People we see on the walls can tell us about the past, and about the people who paved the way. But sometimes, they only tell half the story. Women on Walls began in response to the simple question, where are the women? As a graduate of DCU, it is a particular honour for me to see Accenture’s Women on Walls at DCU become a reality. The initiative is grounded in a core objective of enhancing the visibility of women in STEM to inspire future generations. The five selected artists are integral in helping us achieve that.”

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