Opening Doors (2006) is a collaborative project undertaken with the Domestic Workers Action Group in association with Migrant Rights Centre Ireland, informed by the writings of bell hooks.
This project took place over a twelve-month period where the group collaborated to create large, staged photographic works through a process of developing photographic techniques, editing, visualisation through collage making and rigorous group discussions. Alongside this process, the group created black-and-white personal diary photographs of their days off work.
Through the active collaboration in producing artworks that make visible their everyday experiences, the domestic workers involved in this project create a new empowering and liberating lived or “third” space that is outside the reach of imposing power dynamics. Through their creation of six staged works, photographic representation and the creation of meaning is placed in the hands of the women themselves. As a response to tensions that occur within the private home as workplace, the women take control of the domestic space and make it their own, revealing to us the invaluable work that they do while simultaneously commanding control of their own image and how they are perceived in Irish society.
The project culminated in a televised opening at the Gallery of Photography (now Photo Museum Ireland) on International Women’s Day and the images became part of the group’s campaign for statutory protections. The Domestic Workers Action Group continually campaign for the establishment of statutory protections that reflect the reality of their working lives.
Supported by Create and The Arts Council’s Artist in the Community Scheme