Women of York: Shared Dining is a collaborative artwork created by incarcerated women at York Correctional Institution (YCI), a high security prison in Connecticut. The installation was inspired by Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, and exhibited at the Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. A grant from Three Guineas Fund made the exhibition possible.
The Women of York created place settings honoring other women using materials available and permitted inside the prison in a workshop created by Elizabeth Sackler.
Susan Meiselas and Catherine Muther produced audio recordings of the women’s stories as an operating project of Three Guineas Fund. The audio recordings and transcriptions share the stories of the Women of York, now an integral part of Shared Dining at the Brooklyn Museum. Visitors to the installation can select a photographic image of a plate and runner, and listen to each woman tell her story in her own words.
Their voices lift identity out of anonymity, and bring a powerful presence to their absence.