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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, 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 mother and artist.
In The Holding Place she finds the quiet moments, the silence and tenderness absent from the intense days of working and mothering. The work is made from motherhood the small world that is inhabited, the recurring daily routines, the scant time available, and the intimacy of the mother child relationship all shape this work.
Barely seen in the work is herself, this mirrors the often invisible dual role working mothers play. She aims through this work to amplify the notion that mothers occupy multiple spaces and that this lived experience is a valid area of artistic enquiry - and indeed can provide an abundance of material.
Published by PhotoIreland
Edition of 200
148 × 210 mm