Departing from Liminal Identities, an art-based research project launched in Portugal to produce collaborative portraits of victims of abuse throughout their stay in refuges for women, Displaced is the result of the collaboration between the artist and two researchers in sociology and consumer culture in the UK.
The basis of the project maintains the participative work with voluntary participants in visual art workshops, and discussion of representations through elicitation of the work’s contents. Input from sociology and consumer culture provides a setting for complex portrayals, where self-image associates conventional portraits with contextual aspects.
Storytelling emerging from the relationships with objects through time is charged with expressive variety, overflowing to the portraits of faces produced by the artist. Quotes from participants also guide the curation of the art work, influencing its display, and articulating with images in visual communication.
Domestic space, which was briefly experimented, will be the subject of future chapters of the project, further extending the portraits. Self-image and perception of others, personal belongings, and domestic space are intended to imbricate in a composite representation of survivors’ social relationships in liminality.
Each chapter of the project is located in a refuge or cluster of refuges. The methodology has the research team and voluntary staff from partnering organisations working in the art workshops alongside the participants, to promote power balance and integration.