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The Holding Place
Emma O’Brien

The Holding Place, Emma O'Brien

The Holding Place, Emma O'BrienThe Holding Place
Emma O’Brien

Designed by Ángel Luis González Fernández.


Edition of 200
32 pages
148 × 210 mm
ISBN Not Available


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.

About The Artist
Emma O’Brien is a graduate of The Griffith College BA in Photographic Media. Her photographic practice is concerned mainly with themes of family childhood and home. Documenting the personal and the private, domestic landscapes, rural life, small towns and neighbourhoods.

About the Series
TLP Editions are an ongoing collection of contemporary photographic projects in the form of accessible and inexpensive publications by PhotoIreland. These A5 sized booklets present a standard format throughout the series, with 36 pages each, a cover with a text block of under 140 words that introduces the project, and the title and the artist name only available on the contra cover. The project creates a node of opportunities as it allows photographers to enter the publishing arena, while facilitating access to contemporary artistic practices to the general public.

About the Publisher
Founded in 2009, PhotoIreland was conceived as an organisation that would stimulate a dialogue around Photography in Ireland by developing a varied array of initiatives and events with a strong participative approach.

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