Proposal:Artwork subject=sheela-na-gig

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Proposal status: Rejected (inactive)
Proposed by: B-unicycling
Tagging: artwork_subject=sheela-na-gig
Applies to: node
Definition: Sheela-na-gigs are stone carvings depicting nude women exposing their genitals. They are found on churches, castles, other walls and in museums.

Rendered as: default artwork rendering
Draft started: 2022-03-07
RFC start: 2022-03-08
Vote start: 2022-03-22
Vote end: 2022-04-05


It is proposed to be able to tag certain types of (believed to be medieval) sculptures and reliefs, i.e. stone carvings of women exposing their genitals. There is also street art depicting sheelas at sites important for women's history (@ProjectSheela). This should follow the convention of artwork_subject=religious. It is suggested to use a node along the wall or - in case of them being moved to a museum - otherwise location, when mapping.


Sheela-na-gigs are enjoying an ever growing interest in the public and several websites and books are dedicated to them. There are about 110 examples known in Ireland, lower numbers in the UK and other countries. They are at least as interesting and relevant as religious art.


Mandatory tags
Tag Explanation
tourism=artwork Implied for artwork.
artwork_type=sculpture OR artwork_type=relief Depending on circumstances.
subject:wikidata=Q509424 for all sheela-na-gigs

Optional tags
Tag Explanation
material=* most likely stone, but can be more specific, i.e. limestone or sandstone etc. One example in England is made of wood.
description=* Description of the artwork with details about shape of face, position of arms, expression of the face etc.
width=* and height=* if accessible
wikipedia=* Only if that specific sheela-na-gig has her own wikipedia article. Use subject:wikipedia=en:Sheela na gig to refer to general article about sheela-na-gigs.
historic=yes For historic sheela-na-gigs as opposed to modern street art
ref:nms reference to the National Monument Service in Ireland
moved=yes If the object has been moved to a museum or has otherwise been moved from its presumed original location.
location=* More detailed description of the location, if needed.


See also


Features/Pages affected

External discussions


Please comment on the discussion page.


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  • I abstain from voting but have comments I have comments but abstain from voting on this proposal. Looks uncontroversial and solid, but could you fix the two 'Caption text' headings for the tag tables and clarify that most tags mentioned here, aside from artwork_subject=sheela-na-gig, artwork_type=*, and tourism=artwork are optional? --JeroenHoek (talk) 14:43, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
Issue has been dealt with. B-unicycling (talk) 14:09, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. "subject:wikidata=Q509424" applied "for all sheela-na-gigs" is a bad idea. This is (a) complete duplicate of artwork_subject=sheela-na-gig that is being proposed (b) incorrect as sheela-na-gig is a type of sculpture, not a subject of this artwork (though in theory some case like this may be created) (c) problematic in theorethical case of sheela-na-gig depicting specific person/object Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 15:45, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
I agree it is a complete duplicate of artwork_subject=sheela-na-gig, but I don't think it will lead to real issues. Also note: wikidata:subject is very poorly defined, it is just a sentence on the wikidata=* page: The subject of a statue, artwork or memorial (a person, event, geographical feature, ...). In some rare cases where the subject is plural, values will be separated be semicolon. this is not necessarily an individual person, it depends on the linked wikidata object whether it is an individual or an archetype / concept / principle or similar, --Dieterdreist (talk) 15:29, 25 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. Amᵃᵖanda (talk) 17:23, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal.—Dieterdreist (talk) 17:51, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal.—The tag structure is defined enough to not require several tag searches to locate one, but flexible enough to allow other similar features to evolve. Overall the value of the proposed tag is that it is international, and helps date and apply significance to some religious structures. DeB1gC (talk) 20:15, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. While I agree with most of proposal, I heavily disagree with using "subject:wikidata=Q509424 for all sheela-na-gigs". That is simply wrong and a case of mistagging for the renderer - please do not do that. (it should be about that specific subject, or omitted completely - see subject:wikidata=* and this proposal talk page), and also does not add any new information not already present in "artwork_subject=sheela-na-gig". If this invalid suggestion is removed in subsequent iteration of the proposal; I'd vote for. Thanks for your effort! --mnalis (talk) 19:01, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
have a look at my comment to Mateusz' vote, it does not seem to be "completely wrong".--Dieterdreist (talk) 15:59, 25 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I approve this proposal I approve this proposal. --MaggieMaps (talk) 00:10, 23 March 2022 (UTC)
  • I oppose this proposal I oppose this proposal. Interesting proposal, but needs more thinking. This should be part of a wider proposal for obscene or threatening figures like gargoyles or, more specifically, bare-back figures (like this one). I am not against mapping these items, but find his proposal too narrow --voschix (talk) 11:56, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
The Irish government-run Sites and Monuments Records have sheela-na-gigs as their own category; gargoyles do not have their own category, because they are not considered significant enough (I presume), and the people behind that database are professionals. I would have thought that if they considered sheela-na-gigs significant enough to warrant their own category, it would be good enough for OSM. B-unicycling (talk) 14:06, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
"This should be part of a wider proposal for obscene or threatening figures" - feel free to make one if you want, but it is fine to have tag marking apparently well defined case without making some superproposal covering wide range of issues Mateusz Konieczny (talk) 14:32, 24 March 2022 (UTC)
This proposal is not about tagging "obscene" objects, the wording is "women exposing their genitals". Adding a hypothetical category "obscene artwork" would create a system where we had to evaluate things with respect to a cultural value system, it would likely be less verifiable and definitely less neutral, and we might even find that we think some sheela-na-gig should go into this class and others shouldn't. --Dieterdreist (talk) 15:25, 25 March 2022 (UTC)
Voting closed

Voting on this proposal has been closed.

It was rejected with 4 votes for, 3 votes against and 1 abstention.

2 no votes because of the (apparently wrong) use of subject:wikidata, one no vote because wider category for grotesque figures like gargoyles was desired.