Tag: Photography


Hang Tough Gallery, Dublin
20 July – 3 August 2019

An exhibition is the considered placement and grouping of things that talk to each other about, around or alongside certain philosophical and/or conceptual concerns; it is a gathering and expression of ideas or thematic inquiries underlying visual conceits. The exhibition press release can provide a summary of, or guide to, such activity. The conceptual framework for ‘FIX’ was to exhibit photographic work by five artists, that has strayed or become ‘un-fixed’ from the self-defined constraints usually found within their individual practices. The exhibition press release acknowledges the artists’ diverging creative … Read the rest

‘Fast Slow Fast’

CCA Derry~Londonderry
8 June – 10 August 2019

My day-job is punctuated by a variety of tasks, one of which is to create and circulate promotional images on displays. Source imagery arrives through inter-office email, mostly as custom-ratio JPEGs, PDFs, or on occasion – and most laborious of all – as PowerPoints. You might assume that this is mundane work; however, to someone with my interests, there is something profound about this cutting, pasting, alpha masking and exporting. The images become temporal objects, displaying evidence of their imperfections, rearrangements and cropping, but only remain for however long their promotions are … Read the rest

‘A Modern Eye: Helen Hooker O’Malley’s Ireland’

Gallery of Photography / National Photographic Archive, Dublin
21 June  – 1 September 2019  / 21 June – 2 November 2019

‘A Modern Eye: Helen Hooker O’Malley’s Ireland’ begins with a striking display of wanderlust, inquisitiveness and enviable means. An adventurous artist, born into a wealthy American family, Helen Hooker began her life-long habit of itinerant practice from a young age. Among the early shots, which document people in Mongolia, Japan, Korea and China, is the avant-garde painter Pavel Filonov, with whom she was training in Russia, taken in 1924, when she was in her early twenties. Amidst the artist’s … Read the rest

‘Do Governments Lie?’

Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast
6 June – 27 July 2019

As part of this year’s Belfast Photo Festival, the Golden Thread Gallery simultaneously held three very different exhibitions, at three very different qualitative levels: Philippe Chancel’s excellent and subtle observation of life within North Korean ideological strictures; a dispassionate survey of political discourse on social media by Marc Lee; and a terrible, ostensibly anti-Trump installation by Erik Kessels & Thomas Mailaender, which is so devoid of the potential for critical engagement that the president would, I’m sure, greet it with gleeful delight.

Philippe Chancel’s ‘Kim Happiness’ consists of a selection … Read the rest

‘Social Commons’

Liberty Hall Theatre, Dublin
2 – 12 May 2019 

Francis Fay, The Knight of Mirrors, 2019, performance, 2 May; photograph by Kathryn Maguire

Presented in the congenial lobby, stairs and bar areas of Liberty Hall Theatre, ‘Social Commons’ was curated by Kathryn Maguire and Siobh McGrane for May Fest – SIPTU’s “celebration of workers’ culture”. Where the ‘commons’ denotes a shared physical resource, ‘social commons’ can mean a dispensation of peer-to-peer relationships, parallel to private and State structures, aimed at promoting a ‘general good’. The term refers not just to redistribution, but to transformative communal self-understanding. At the base … Read the rest

Theresa Nanigian ‘Just a bit extraordinary’

Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda
22 September – 3 November 2018

In the Highlanes Gallery, Theresa Nanigian presents a crowd-pleasing show, peppered with many different faces and voices, each expressing individual experience and cumulatively communicating a universal humanity that is a comfort to bask in.

‘Just a bit extraordinary’ is comprised of distinct parts that were previously presented individually in Limerick City Gallery and The LAB, Dublin. Three ‘chapters’ have now coalesced at the Highlanes, encompassing the artist’s exploration of “the expression of identity across the lifespan.” This ‘lifespan’ is predominantly represented through three photographic series: ‘not sorry’ documenting teenager’s unoccupied bedrooms … Read the rest

Gerry Blake ‘Into the Sea’

Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray
19 May – 30 June 2018

When is a photograph just a photograph? How can we ask questions of the photographic image that interrogate the specificity of the medium, without having the subject matter consume our attention? The flippant answer is that we can’t; or at least it is not possible without turning a blind eye to the material world disclosed through the photographic image. Even the vernacular modernism of the 1950s and ‘60s, which sought to create a culture of ‘photography for photography’s sake’, drew on the flow of everyday life to gesture towards … Read the rest

A Sense of Place / Fragmented Realities

Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards, 1 – 24 February 2018

A series of black and white digital photographs by Belfast-based artist, Mariusz Smiejek, was presented in the Georgian Gallery in Ards Arts Centre. The small-scale photographs depicted women within the natural and domestic landscapes of the Ards Peninsula. Strong tonal contrasts played a part in some of these images, whereas others had a softer tonal range. The depth of field also varied; sometimes Smiejek concentrated solely on the subject, while at other times the background was also depicted in detail. The artist explained: “I focus on the person rather than their … Read the rest

Building a Book


“The Claw is the blind performer
It cannot speculate, judge
Nor wince

     Dull acts
     Strength Hastening

Buildings open
Exposing truths
The Claw can’t read

     Crimes in plain sight
     An austere vandal.”

Lacuna: New perspectives on the border in Ireland

Gallery of Photography, September 9 – October 22

The result of the 2016 British referendum on the future of European Union membership has brought about a new era of social and political anxiety regarding the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland. ‘Brexit’ is a neologism that has been mobilised by ultra-conservative politicians and sections of the British media alike, to portray what was in reality a marginal ‘yes vote’, as the inevitable political expression of the zeitgeist of British isolationism and nationalism. On the island of Ireland, Brexit has resurrected the spectre of the border which has haunted Irish Read the rest