Moving testimonies, expressed through text and images, of the unpaid and often unrecognised work that women have done over many years, are part of an exhibition opening tonight in Dublin.
The Still We Work exhibition, featuring the work of five artists, examines the seen and unseen contribution of women to all levels of society.
One of the pieces, an installation by artist Ailbhe Murphy and researcher Ciaran Smyth – known collectively as Vagabond Reviews – brings together more than 30 testimonies, 250 words long, about women who assist people in fundamental ways. The installation, called "The (In)visible Labour Factorium", draws on stories told at workshops that were held across the State with members of organisations affiliated to the National Women's Council of Ireland (NWCI).
In one testimony, youth co-ordinator Elva O’Callaghan. described the work of Filipina carer Anna, who looked after her mother and whose “job description could never encapsulate the contribution she made to my family during some sad and harrowing years”.
The other artists being exhibited are Anne Tallentire, who aims to provoke reflection on Dublin's built environment and the role of women architects in it; photographer Miriam O'Connor, who presents photographs of women's events and work-spaces; and sculptor Sarah Browne, who has cast objects from women's working and personal lives which, along with a 12-minute video, explore the extent to which these often overlap.
Still We Work, presented by the NWCI, runs at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin, until October 26th. It will be at the 126 Gallery, Galway, from November 9th to 24th.