I am Present / Adsum

Rachel Fallon D.I.Y. Aprons of Power sewing workshop, performance and artist talk

22 – 25 November 2023

Sewing workshop:

22 November 2023 15:00 – 19:00

23 November 2023 15:00 – 17:30

24 November 2023 15:00 – 19:00

Budapest Gallery

1036 Budapest, Lajos utca 158.


25 November 2023 13:30 – 15:30

Meeting point: Margaret Island, water tower

Artist talk:

23 November 2023 18:00

ISBN books+gallery

1084 Budapest, Víg u. 2.

Graphic design:

Viktória Szabó

Between May and July this year, the Budapest Gallery organised an international group exhibition titled On violence (curated by Lívia Páldi), which presented experiences of violence, scenarios of social behaviour, visual and political topos of violence from women’s and queer positions. The accompanying and educational programmes, developed in collaboration with artists, NGOs and human rights activists, will be continued by a feminist performance project in public spaces by the Irish artist Rachel Fallon, who had also participated in the exhibition.

On 25 November, the World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, a new version of The Aprons of Power project realized as a community collaboration will be presented in Budapest under the title I am Present / Adsum, which will highlight social inequalities, systemic violence and the lack of female and queer representation in public spaces by raising aprons in prominent – and thus male-centric – urban spaces. The project will be accompanied by sewing workshops with Rachel Fallon, Sári Ember, Eszter Metzing, Kata Oltai, Luca Petrányi and Enikő Róka and an artist talk where people of different ages, social backgrounds and experiences are welcome.

D.I.Y. Aprons of Power sewing workshop and performance:
Rachel Fallon created her performance series D.I.Y. Aprons of Power in 2018 as a commemoration of the women, especially unwed mothers, locked up in Magdalene asylums and maternity homes. Fallon focuses on the plain white linen apron worn from day one by women working in the laundries as a symbol of oppression and a defence of pure morality. With slogans and appropriated military mottos sewn into the lining of the aprons, she makes empowering feminist calls and claims about reproductive and bodily autonomy, safety, equality and non-discriminatory care.

She continued this series during the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment (ACREA) campaign, which called for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment (Article 40.3.3) to the Irish Constitution, introduced in 1983. The amendment equated the life of the pregnant woman with that of the unborn child.

The brief, symbolic act of taking back power, the lifting of the apron, was repeated on occasion, often in 4-5 different urban locations. It was at once a remembrance of lives destroyed and a call to make these vulnerable and lost lives visible. With these actions, Fallon also drew attention to the fact that women’s exposure to violence in the public space is a persistent problem. In 2021, she created a pair of aprons, The Apron of Solidarity I-II, as a gesture of solidarity with Polish women fighting for the right to bodily self-determination.

Fallon makes the aprons herself but an important part of her project is community sewing, discussion and performative presentation of the finished pieces in public spaces/political demonstrations.
The motto of the Budapest performance, co-designed with the artist, is Jelen Vagyok / I am Present / Adsum. The Latin word (adsum) is both a response to the name draw and a reminder that Hungarian, in 1884, became an official language, replacing Latin.

On 25 November, members of the sewing working group will raise their aprons to proclaim their presence, highlighting social inequalities and the lack of female and queer representation in public spaces. The community apron-making workshop is open to anyone interested in activism, social justice and community collaboration as a space for knowledge sharing.

Re-Claiming Spaces artist talk:
In this artists talk Rachel Fallon will give the background and context to her Aprons of Power performances which first took place in 2018 as part of the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment in their fight for bodily autonomy and reproductive rights in Ireland.

Looking at empowering methods of representation through use of visual arts in social situations she will talk further about the power of words and how the project has expanded to include collaborative processes such as the D.I.Y. Aprons of Power and the importance of positive visibility within our communities.

The project is a collaboration between the Budapest Gallery and the Kiscelli Museum-Municipal Gallery and supported by Culture Ireland.

The works of Dublin based artist Rachel Fallon address themes of maternity and safety in the domestic realm and the topics of labor, craft and womens’ relationships to society and relations between the female body and politics and religion. Her work encompasses sculpture, drawing, photography and performance and is firmly rooted in processes of making. Textiles play a significant role within the artist’s work and she uses materials and working methods associated with household chores, such as embroidery and crochet.
Besides her individual practice, she is known for her collaborations with Irish and international artists and collectives, including the Artists’ Campaign to Repeal the Eighth Amendment (ACREA), Desperate Artwives, Feminist Parasite Institution, Grrrl Zine Fair and The Tellurometer Project.