Sarah Byrne

The Clothes We Wore

'The Clothes We Wore’ looks at a difficult subject head-on: what support we give survivors of assault. In 2019 more than 3,179 people reported rape or assault to An Garda Síochána. The work interprets conversations with a number of survivors of assault. What they were wearing was a common factor in the retelling of each story. The use of reclaimed clothing became an important consideration in the work; it is a way to collectively bring people together to discuss the stigma of what they were wearing. They become physical representations of the supportive nature of sharing each story within a group, where understanding and acknowledgement by other survivors becomes an important factor in the recovery process. Each hand represents different stages of healing for each survivor, when displayed collectively they represent the support structure necessary to deal with the trauma suffered. The aim of this work is to start a conversation with the viewer about assault and to hopefully encourage other victims of abuse to speak up, knowing that there is a community of survivors there to support them.


1-SarahByrne.jpg "Hand made from white lace skirt and t-shirt, Hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


2-SarahByrne..jpg "Hand form made from a Maxi dress, photographed by Sarah Byrne."


3-SarahByrne..png "Hand made from spandex shorts, photographed by Sarah Byrne."


4-SarahByrne..jpg "Hand made from a t-shirt dyed beige, hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


5-SarahByrne..jpg "Hand made from a t-shirt, photographed by Sarah Byrne."


6-SarahByrne..jpg "hand made from a yellow dress, hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


7-SarahByrne..jpg " Yellow hand made from a dress, black & white hand made from socks, Hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


8-SarahByrne..jpg " Hand made from clothes lining, hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


9-SarahByrne..jpg "hands made using dresses, clothes lining and spandex shorts, Hands photographed by Sarah Byrne."


10-SarahByrne..jpg "Hand made from a long skirt, hand photographed by Sarah Byrne."