Dublin’s Docklands community celebrated in new photography exhibition

by Alison O'Hanlon
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A new exhibition celebrating the lives and history of the surrounding community of Dublin’s Docklands will open to the public on Friday February 2 at the Windmill Quarter in Dublin’s South Docks.  

Docklanders will feature images by Jeanette Lowe, a photographic artist, old photographs from the local community and some of the 6,000 photographs collected and preserved by the Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society. 

The works will provide a remarkable insight into how the Docklands area and its surrounding community has changed significantly over time. The event is open to the public and will provide visitors with an opportunity to examine and reflect on the lives of those who lived and worked in the area as well as those who continue to live there.  

While many of the men living in the area worked as dockers, there were other industries located in the Docklands area. Many women worked in factories and mills located on the North and South Docks. Up until the early 1970s they would often be required to stop working once they were married. 

3 Lever Bros

Jeanette Lowe is an award-wining contemporary photographic artist and is currently artist in residence at the Windmill Quarter. The position is supported by Hibernia Real Estate Group, the owners of a number of buildings in the area including 1WML and 1SJRQ. As part of her residency, Jeanette has an exhibition space in 1SJRQ.

Jeanette has been photographing and collecting images of communities in Dublin’s inner city for over a decade. Her ongoing project “Village in the City” started in 2009 as a personal project recording the community of Pearse House flats where her grandmother was one of the first residents in the 1930s. 

Jeanette has since examined other inner city communities as they have been dispersed when their flats were demolished. Many of the families she has documented and worked with have lived in the inner city for over a century, settling near where they could find work. 

Jeanette’s great-uncle worked as a docker and her mother worked in the Lever Brothers soap factory. 

Speaking about the exhibition, Jeanette said “Docklanders is a celebration of the many people who have lived and worked in and around Dublin’s Docklands over the years. It will bring visitors on a journey, literally and historically, where they will have an opportunity to engage with one of the city’s oldest communities. The images from the Dublin Dock Workers Preservation Society are fascinating and when added to the photographs I have collected and taken, they show a community that lived and worked closely together. A community that supported each other through the good and the bad times.

“It’s fantastic that the exhibition is taking place in the Windmill Quarter, which itself is part of the Docklands. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be the artist in residence at the Quarter and I would like to thank Hibernia for their support,” she added.

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