Earlier this year, the Library acquired a photographic series titled ‘Opening Doors – Renting for all’ that was produced as part of a broader project by the disability advocacy group Action for More Independence and Dignity in Accommodation (AMIDA).  

Belinda Lyons, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

Opening Doors is a portrait series (28 born digital photographs), by Melbourne photographer Paul Dunn. Dunn has documented people living with disability, posed in their own home environment. The people in the photographs generously allowed Dunn into their homes to capture a moment in time of their domestic lives. 

Graham Binding, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

In each photograph the personal interests and comforts of home life are evident. A variety of housing types and interior design choices are evident, and the series aimed to illustrate the independence of the participants.  

Eva Sifis, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 
Danny Lyons, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 
Jane Rosengrave, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

The series caught our eye when it was exhibited at No Vacancy Gallery in late 2019, curated by Lex Middleton.  

AMIDA’s touring exhibition proposal describes the series: 

‘The Opening Doors portraits are a powerful affirmation of the meaning people associate with living independently in their own home and the foundation this provides for living creative and purposeful lives.’

Katherine Bartlett, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

The Opening Doors project included video content with stories and information that would connect others to helpful resources to navigate the processes involved in renting and real estate. The project was managed by filmmaker Lawrence Johnston and led by people with disability. 

Paul Camileri, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

The Library’s collection strategy includes the goal for our collections to be relevant, through a focus on digital-first and diversity. We aim to collect the everyday and extraordinary voices, stories, and experiences of Victorians. 

Lisa Brumtis, Paul Dunn, 2019. This work is in copyright. 

Related resources: 

Opening Doors Project. https://openingdoors.net.au/  

Action for More Independence and Dignity in Accommodation. https://www.amida.org.au/  

State Library Victoria Collection Strategy https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/about-us/governance/collection-strategy-2020-24

State Library Victoria Access & Inclusion https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/visit/access-inclusion

This article has 3 comments

  1. Great post! This collection is a terrific acquisition for the State Library Victoria.

  2. Wonderful images, a fantastic project and acquisition by the State Library

  3. Thanks State Library of Victoria for acquiring and sharing the Opening Doors Photography collection.

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