This thesis aims to analyze Dorothy Cross’s sculptural, installation, and video works in relation to Ireland’s Post-Conflict struggle with its cultural and global identity. Throughout the course of history, Ireland’s identity has always been in question, sparking new interest over the last thirty years in producing an Irish identity discerned by “hybridity, multiplicity, and mobility.”[1] Declan McGonagle states that the traditional Irish constructs of gender and sexuality were primarily challenged by Dorothy Cross during this period of rapid sociopolitical change.[2] Cross consistently deconstructs pre-Christian Mother Ireland and patriarchal Catholic Ireland in her early sculptural works, and ultimately transitions towards communicating a collective identity rooted in loss and desire. [3] The constructions of gendered, cultural, and collective identity are dismantled across multiple media throughout Cross’s oeuvre, which can be analyzed through a synthesis of poststructuralist, postmodern, and French feminist theory. In evaluating Dorothy Cross’s destabilization of identity, I will expand the literature on contemporary Irish art during the nation’s turbulent time of globalization, which has been underemphasized in the study of contemporary European art.

[1] Robin Lydenberg, “Contemporary Irish Art on the Move: At Home and Abroad with Dorothy Cross,” Éire-Ireland: a Journal of Irish Studies 39, no. 3/4 (2004): 145. [2] Declan McGonagle, Fintan O’Toole, and Kim Levin, Irish Art Now: From the Poetic to the Political (London: Merrell Publishers Ltd., 1999): 19. [3] Enrique Juncosa and Sean Kissane, eds, Dorothy Cross (Milan: Edizioni Charta, 2005), 16.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Mendoza, Ilenia Colón


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Humanities


School of Visual Arts and Design

Degree Program

Art History


Orlando (Main) Campus



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

December 2016