The work demonstrates the uniqueness of photography, its ubiquitous nature offering the time-starved an opportunity to create and be included.
A treasured family photograph triggers memories and begins discussion around those we care for. An everyday object is highlighted by studio lights, elevating its status to more accurately demonstrate its vital role in the successful play of a day. A pinhole camera makes use of household waste – an old matchbox, a postal tube – with long exposure times allowing for multitasking. A still-life is created from found objects in situ, stumbled across when carrying out daily responsibilities. An unpaired glove becomes the starting point of photographic narrative, real or imagined it’s an alternative to reality. Photography lets us to see ourselves in a reflection, allowing the subject to play with how they are seen in the world.
The work presented is not about what it is like to be a carer. It will not communicate that 1 in 8 adults are carers. It will not inform you that carers save the economy £132 billion per year and it won’t betray the gendered stereotypes of caring roles. Instead it is work made by carers, who have gained skills and used photography to creatively explore their often-isolated voice.
Hidden came out of the House|Work project, a partnership project between Stills Centre for Photography and Edinburgh Art Festival exploring themes of gendered perception within caring roles and the undervaluing of unpaid care. Through a programme of creative activity, in response to an exhibition at Stills by artist Kate Davis, community groups in Edinburgh created work in a series of workshops that have been showcased in an exhibition raising awareness of these themes.