LEGACY PROJECT
2013 / 2014

National Women’s Council of Ireland
The Legacy Project set out to challenge mainstream views of women’s visibility, or the lack of it, with respect to labour. Initiated by the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) in the centenary year of the 1913 Dublin Lockout, the Legacy Project aimed to create an exhibition and publication that explored alternative representations of women and work.

In January 2013, Vagabond Reviews was commissioned by the project curator Valerie Connor along with artists Sarah Browne, Anne Tallentire and Miriam O’Connor. Our work began with a question. In 2013, what forms of knowledge and experience remain locked out of contemporary representations of women’s labour in Ireland? Our ambition was to formulate a history of the present lodged at the end of an arc of history that spans from the 1913 Dublin Lockout to the present day.


(In)Visible Labour Factorium
50 420 x 594mm digital inkjet prints on archival paper

(In)Visible Labour Factorium focuses on those aspects of women’s labour practices (both contemporary and historical) which tend to fall beneath the threshold of visibility. The work was generated through a series of (In)Visible Labour Factorium encounters and Visibility Clinics with the membership of the NWCI, individuals and associate organizations. These included the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, Mandate Union, Doras Buí Community Resource Centre Coolock, Limerick Women’s Network, Family Resource Centre, St.Michael’s Estate, and the Galway Traveller Movement among others. Contributors were invited to consider three distinct seams of invisibility and to represent them with a short text and a photographic image.

The three seams of invisibility were:

Invisible Practices of Kindness: In an era of austerity where the metrics of productivity have been applied to all aspects of labour, is there a metrics for kindness? If so can we describe those practices of kindness that may fall outside the official language of accountability, in particular in our care settings today?

Invisible Practices of (Community) Organising: At a time when so much of the state architecture for the support of community development is being emaciated or dismantled, what are those hidden practices of organising that continue and endure? Are there examples of individual women whose practices of organising and participation are beneath the threshold of official history or of contemporary visibility?

Invisible Practices of Belonging: In a changing Ireland where new cultural identities are challenging and transforming notions of Irishness, are there hidden practices of belonging between the old and the new? Can we find examples of individuals and practices that generate new forms and new possibilities for belonging?

The Legacy Project culminated in 2013 in the exhibition Still, We Work and accompanying catalogue designed by Oonagh Young and edited by Valerie Connor. See ‘Writings’ for the Vagabond Reviews catalogue essay Lockout in the Age of Control.

  • 6 Selected FACTS

In October 2013 Still, We Work was shown at:

Gallery of Photography
Meeting House Sq
Templebar
Dublin
19th – 27th October 2013

Exhibition gives value to the work women do
Irish Times:18th October 2013

  • Still, We Work
    Gallery of Photography

  • Photographs -
    Brian Cregan

In November 2013 Still, We Work was shown as part of Tulca Visual Arts Festival 2013 at:

126 Gallery
Flood Street
Galway
16th – 24th November 2013

Over October and November Vagabond Reviews hosted (In)Visible Labour Factorium workshops at both the Gallery of Photography, 126 Gallery and University Hospital, Galway


Review of (In)Visible Labour Factorium at 126 Gallery by Eilís Ní Dhúill for the Irish Language blog Nua-Ealáin



Tulca 2013

  • 126 Gallery and In Conversation event

In March 2014 Still, We Work was exhibited at Cork City Hall. The exhibition was hosted by Ballyphehane Togher Community Development Project and Cork City Council Arts Office.

In July 2014 Still, We Work was exhibited at European Union House, Dublin. On July 16th, in conjunction with the exhibition at EU House the NWCI hosted a seminar entitled Decent Work for Women: Challenge and Opportunity.



UPCOMING

The NWCI have been awarded funds under the Arts Council Touring Award to tour Still, We Work in 2014 / 2015. Venues and dates to be confirmed.