The Hidden Garden (short)

I finally made time to make a 12 minute version of the documentary I made last year. My nice slow digger scenes had to get the chop as did a lot of my other babies, but I think it’s a pretty good summary of the film. See here for more info on The Hidden Garden and what it’s all about.

You can of course watch it in HD. If you’re interested in buying a DVD of the 46 minute edit, contact me. Only €10 plus postage.


Earliest Memories Through a Pinhole Camera

We had never heard a wireless before

This exhibition launches on Thursday April 8th at Draíocht, Blanchardstown. My residency with Draíocht required me to work with a youth group in Dublin 15, so I thought it fitting and appropriate to work with an intergenerational group instead, given that my other project is looking at the invisibility of older people. Along with contributing towards an exhibition, it was hoped that the group would also function on some social level, which I believe it did. On the first day of November last, fourteen strangers from various backgrounds and age profiles assembled in the Draíocht foyer. Some had prior experience with photography, some only an interest, while others came equipped with a mild curiosity. Five months later, the group lost only two people. We met every Tuesday morning in Draíocht and got to grips with both the technical and creative aspects of photography. The technical aspects involved understanding the basic principles of how images form, regardless of the size or cost of the camera. The creative lay in the process of looking and discussing other photographers work, on brainstorming the theme of the project and in teamwork concerning every aspect of this show. Most signifantly, each participant made their own pinhole camera from a matchbox and other household items, along with printing their final image in the darkroom. The theme of the exhibition was decided around Christmas, which was based around the individual’s first memory. Each participant, ranging in ages from 14 to 82 would reconstruct their first memory from a concise verbal description, and photograph that construction with their pinhole camera. Each matchbox was individually cut by each participant, thus each image has a unique frame surrounding it.

What’s that sound Jack?

Black pudding tastes nice

Black cloths were strewn over all the pictures and mirrors

I had never broken anything before

It was my 4th birthday

My mother in the wings

I want to steal her bottle of milk

That was the first time I tasted wine

My dad left his drill lying on the floor

I don’t know why I was in a hospital

A pile of fresh clay smelled damp

The very nature of pinhole images with their fuzzy out of focus aesthetic, matched the concept in its entirety. Are our own memories our own? Did they even happen, or did they form in our consciousness from a story or photo? Our first memory is also a fuzzy, personal and delicate thing. Something that is generally not aired to the public, yet always are fascinating to hear about. The first permanent photograph in our young minds, fixed forever. In the memories that were reconstructed for this exhibition, it seems that the earliest memory seems something that is brushed with fear, panic, excitement or just extreme curiosity. The approach used on this project stripped photography back to its very bare essentials – a black light-tight box and a tiny aperture. As the water eventually washes away the chemicals used to process the film, it’s difficult not to experience a sense of amazement that such a thing could produce images. Digital cameras have largely removed the method of investigation from taking photographs. A photograph instantly viewed on the back of a camera is immediately judged as being acceptable or not. Where it fails, a new one is taken and repeated until the photograph is satisfactory. Pinhole photography puts the thinking caps back on. There is one chance with a roll of film. It works or it doesn’t. Somewhere therein lies the magic. Earliest Memories Through a Pinhole Camera opens on Thursday April 8th at Draíocht and runs until May 28th 2011


Suitcases & Drama

Second shoot was with Bernadette Gallagher who chose a 1930’s look, a gal with a lot of moving to do. Stylist was Niamh Hogan, make up team were Paula and Lauren from IADT. Suitcases from the reliable Historic Interiors.


Gubu & The Travellers

Gubu & The Travellers

Sometimes when doing a project, images are made that don’t quite fit into the context of the work, whether it is shown in an online gallery or in the real world. As such, they generally never see the light of day. This is one such image that I was reminded of yesterday. It was taken by my fine assistant on the day Clive Moloney.

The project Gubu was done as part of a 4-week residency with Limerick City Gallery in the summer of 2009, and born out of my own frustrations with the Irish Economy and our fine government. Myself and Clive went and done a recce on a Friday to this place in Silvermines about an half hours drive from Limerick city. The place suited the theme of a destructive landscape, so we said we would come back on Monday, by which time some travellers had moved in. Given that I was going to be dressing up as a clown and wandering around this place, I thought I should introduce myself. I chatted to what I assume was one of the parents. She said she would keep the kids away. Makeup on, Gubu’s clothes on, we began to work. The daddy’s came back at some stage and upon seeing a gobshite clown in the field they had to screetch to a halt and ask me to come up to the kids when I was done, which I did. This photo was taken as we were introduced.

Gubu may well be dying out as we begin February 2011, but if history is anything to go by, he’ll be back before long. More images and video can be found on my website.

If you’ve never heard of the term GUBU, see here.


Urban Chic

First shoot was Monday last, Jan 31st. Anne Flanagan was the model who chose to do an urban chic look circa 1970. Hair & Make up done by Emma and Ciara from IADT, styled by Niamh Hogan.

Urban Chic