I have worked for several year, mainly in Domestic Economy (and in a number of other jobs). This work is an attempt to put into images a section of what I have experienced in a variety of roles in that field.
I regard the desplay as one part of the project: As much as I have been interested in the imagery, I have become intrigued by the act and process of taking and making pictures and the impact this has on the people involved. In this sense the shown result is only an interim stage.
Each profession or job is linked with a certain image in our society. This image tends to be embossed in our heads, defining whether and how we perceive somebody and determining how we treat others. Our compartmentalising view often prevents us from discovering and appreciating a person as a whole.
People who provide services in Domestic Economy, in particular cleaners, operate around the activities of an organisation. Their work is timetabled in order to avoid disturbance for the main services, which renders them almost invisible. As a consequence the work of invisible people is often overlooked and undervalued, and so are they themselves.
My experience and thus my exhibition are not necessarily identical with the experience and perception of the two women who are the main subjects of the photographs although during our conversation I believe to have discovered shared joys and sorrows.
I thank Jo and Jose and the other staff for their collaboration and support.
Birmingham, June 1999