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© Marketa Luskačová. All rights reserved, DACS 2021

Seven works from the series The First House for Battered Women and Children, 1976-1977

Markéta Luskačová (b. 1944)

Embracing the threshold

  • Medium:
    Gelatin silver prints
  • Dimensions:
    Dimensions variable
  • Collection:
    Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London
  • Coll. No:
    ACP 1334, ACP 1335, ACP 1338, ACP 1337, ACP 1338, ACP 1339, ACP 1340

This series of photographs by Markéta Luskačová documents the women and children living at Chiswick Women’s Aid in London, in 1976 and 1977. The refuge was one of the first shelters in the world for women escaping domestic violence, and its opening was a pivotal moment in the development of women’s rights.The overcrowded scenes emphasise the widespread prevalence of this problem, and confirms the founders’ belief that no women or children seeking shelter should ever be turned away. At Chiswick Women’s Aid, victims and survivors found safety in the liminal space between their violent pasts and the hope of a stable and secure future.

To read an essay on Markéta Luskačová and this series of photographs by co-curator Anna Bonsink, visit pages 49-53 of the Catalogue.

Individual artwork titles as seen from left to right:

Children looking behind the door of Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1977 

Newly Arrived Woman with Children, Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1976 

Four Women and a Boy, Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1977

Women and Children Sleeping on the Floor, Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1977

Erin Pizzey with Child in Mask, Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1977

Children kissing, Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1977

Child in Chiswick Womens Aid, London, 1976