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The Mystery of Dublin’s White Lady Statue

The Mystery of Dublin’s White Lady Statue – Jack Croome tells us about the recent addition to Dublin’s Culture

Dublin boasts its fair share of landmarks, but among the lesser-known yet intriguing examples is that of the White Lady or the “lady on the rock” statue, sparking curiosity of locals and visitors alike with its mysterious presence. When I first moved from the country to live in Dublin many things struck me as somewhat different but none more than the sight of the white lady who gazes out captivating yet aloof from the windowsills of countless Dublin 8 homes. So what is the story behind this intriguing figure?

The White Lady, a reclining woman draped in fabric, emerged from the creative mind of artist Harold Gardiner around 1993. Initially crafted as a clay model, the statue underwent transformation into fiberglass by Edward Loughman of RPM Supplies. Gardiner’s intention was to gift the statue to friends and family, leading to the creation of a mould for reproduction. However, fate took an unexpected turn when Gardiner passed away in 1995. At the request of Gardiner’s widow, Loughman cleared out the artist’s workshop, taking possession of the cast of the Lady. Subsequently, the cast found its way into the hands of Vincent Doran of Dublin Mouldings, where it has since been produced and sold.

The White Lady’s presence has sparked a flurry of interpretations, especially prevalent on Dublin’s north side and in areas like the Liberties. Often displayed prominently in windows, these statues have fuelled speculation about their significance. Some suggest a connection to Molly Malone, while further theories propose representations of the Virgin Mary or Mary Magdalene. The White Lady’s allure extends beyond the realm of speculation, making its mark in popular culture. Californian artist Jessie Ward garnered acclaim with her short film about the Lady, winning the 2010 Dark light Festival’s Free Your Film contest.

The White Lady also lends her name to the White Lady art gallery, offering variations of the statue painted in diverse styles. Secondary school students delved into her mystery, creating their own interpretations showcased at axis Ballymun. Even the holiday season sees the White Lady transformed into Christmas decorations, further embedding her presence in Dublin’s cultural tapestry. As Dubliners and visitors alike ponder the meaning behind the White Lady statue, one thing remains clear her allure lies not only in her physical presence but also in the myriad interpretations she inspires. Whether viewed as a symbol of tradition, a nod to folklore, or simply an enigmatic piece of art, the White Lady continues to fascinate and intrigue, adding yet another layer to Dublin’s rich cultural landscape.






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