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Becoming Christine – Amanda Dunsmore in partnership with Christine Beynon

Visual Arts
 Friday, 26 May 2017 10:00

Becoming Christine – Amanda Dunsmore in partnership with Christine Beynon, at Galway Arts Centre, Ireland. To be opened by Dr. Lydia Foy - May 26, 6pm. Exhibition May 27 — July 9, 2017.

Becoming Christine by Amanda Dunsmore - a new exhibition in partnership with Christine Beynon - curated by Liz Burns. Image by Christine Beynon – View from my feet - looking over my 'wall' - after breast argumentation, ‘selfies’ series, 2013.



Becoming Christine by Amanda Dunsmore - in partnership with Christine Beynon
A multi-media & ‘selfie’ portrait exhibition, curated by Liz Burns.

The new publication; Becoming Christine –accompanies the exhibited series of ‘selfies’, narrated sound installation.

Exhibition: May 27 — July 9, 2017
Opening: To be opened by Dr. Lydia Foy - May 26, 6pm
Artist talk & exhibition tour: 2pm 27 May in Galway Arts Centre.

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I’m Christine, I’ve lived in Galway for thirty eight years but originally from the East End of London. I knew from an early age I was different, so this journey to becoming Christine has been a lifetime journey.
After I “came out” in 2006 I started my transition in 2010 here in Ireland and UK where I had surgery to finely fulfill my lifetime dream.
The photos show only part of that journey and how lonely it can also be. It means you can lose family and life long friends but on the upside since, I’ve made my new friends that became part of my new life. Excerpt bio. Christine Beynon, ‘Becoming Christine’ publication, 2017.
The ‘selfies’ follow Christine Beynon’s journey and transition over the past 12 years - to becoming a woman.  These self portraits range in tone from the painful, to the playful, from the mundane to the contemplative to the joyful.  
The immersive sound installation & narrated artwork was a result of a collaborative partnership between the artist and Christine Beynon. Over the year, the artist Amanda Dunsmore recorded a series of conversation between herself and Christine – where Christine described her journey to becoming  a woman. ‘I had a dress at eleven, I used to play with dolls and things like that, I had a dress, it was like a black sequin dress, one of the aunts, gave me this dress and said ‘go put that on and give us a twirl’ and they all laughed at me, and I took it off and that was the last time somebody saw me in a dress until I came out in 2006….’  Christine 2013.
The legacy of Becoming Christine in combining specific artistic elements which together create an exhibition based in portraiture, is not only reflective of an individual finding themselves but is also reflective of the enormous socio-political change that has taken place in Ireland & England over the past sixty years.
The long fight for gender recognition began in 1993 when Dr. Lydia Foy applied to the Registrar General to get a birth certificate which reflected her gender. When this request was refused, she began legal proceedings in 1997. In December 2014, the Gender Recognition Bill 2014 was published. After the passage of the Bill through both the Dáil and Seanad in July 2015, President Michael D. Higgins signed it into law on the 22nd of July 2015 (TENI, 2015). At the time the Gender Recognition Bill was signed into Law, Ireland was one of only 4 countries in the world that allowed gender recognition based on self-determination, along with Argentina, Demark, Malta, and Columbia .Dr. Foy, over 20 years after she first applied for it, finally received her birth certificate on the 22nd September 2015, fittingly becoming the first person to do so under the new legislation. Since September 2015,157 people (in Ireland) have received Gender Recognition Certificates. (LAURA FINLAY. Excerpt essay ‘Becoming Christine’ publication, 2017).
Becoming Christine / Amanda Dunsmore was a recipient of the Arts Council Ireland Project Grant, 2016







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