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While balancing unpaid emotional and domestic labour with full-time paid work, Emma O'Brien placed her photographic practice on hold. It was an indulgence she couldn't afford; Motherhood demanded this sacrifice. As her child grew, influenced by Matricentric Feminism, and working with a feminist concept of intersubjectivity, "how to care for another and one's self", she began carving the time to explore her role as a mother and artist. Finding the quiet moments between the intense days of working and mothering she began to photograph their everyday.
The Holding Place is a meditation on the physical, psychological, and political landscape of Motherhood. The small world they inhabit, the recurring daily routines, the scant time available, and the intimacy of the mother-child relationship all shape the work. In The Holding Place, the personal and political blur as the artist engages in a raw and honest dialogue, exploring the emotional complexities and challenges of motherhood.
Emma O'Brien's 'The Holding Place' was launched at Tsundoku Art Book Fair, during PhotoIreland Festival 2023, on Saturday 15th July.
Published by PhotoIreland
Designed by Ángel Luis González Fernández.
Set in ABC Diatype and Millik
Printed by KOPA on Arctic Volume White 150 gsm; cover on Omni Silk 200 gsm.
First Edition of 500
260 x 320 mm