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Friday, April 4, 2014

1st Year Theme | CHANGE | April 2014




The word or concept of ‘Change’ can be articulated in many ways. The act of change can be highly pronounced or indistinct, visible or invisible. Our world and ourselves, are in a continuous state and process of change – every year, every day and every second we, and the world that surrounds us, moves, transforms, evolves, regenerates and inevitably decays – the cycle continues.





Diana Zamjatkina explores the loss of nature created by the destruction of a public park in Carlow.

Change can have both positive and negative connotations. It is something that we encourage, that we hope for, fight for, work towards, but change can also carry the burden of loss. Change is physical. Our environment, our topography, our architecture is in a constant process of change. One of the most common themes in photography is the ever changing landscape - throughout the history of photography practitioners have drawn our attention to both minute and vast changes to the geographical structures of our world.



Dean McLoughlin c.



Olga Kuzmenkos work represents the current political change and social climate in Ukraine

Change is political. We protest for change when we see social injustice, or economic imbalances or we demand a transition of government. Consider throughout the history of photography those ‘concerned’ photographers who used the camera for social change. Change is a personal and often private sensation. When we contemplate the changes in our own lives, or the world that we know, we can sometimes feel mournful and melancholic. The sense of change can evoke an emotive memory of who we are, of the world that we know. Hence, the theme can be related to issues of identity, home and the family. In our personal lives we try hard to change and try even harder not to change. Change is adjustment - to new situations, new experiences, new places. The question is, how do we respond to the changes we experience in a visual way. Presented here is a selection of first year work relating to these issues. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Theme | SILENCE (January 2014)




Silence is an act, an order, a state of being, a condition, a desire. It’s a removal of sound, a removal of noise. It’s an absence, it’s an atmosphere. Silence is a physical and psychological space. It is thoughtful, meditative, considerate. It is pensive, tense, present. It’s a pause, it’s a release - something that raises the possibility of interesting and diverse ways to approach it through photography. This Winter theme was introduced in December to both 1st & 2nd years. Some guidelines about how to approach the topic, a selection of visual and literary references are discussed, but the theme is open to the individual’s interpretation and is developed through the Christmas period. Each student’s task was to conceptualize and reinterpret the word ‘Silence’ as an undercurrent of something within their own situation, their own condition, their own life, their own world.

The work, as always with our course, is diverse in personality and in standards. While some students explore the psychological condition of silence through their experiences of isolation and depression, others use the opportunity to explore the state of absence. Of note here is Mark Colgan’s aging Polaroid picture. He reminds us that it is the only picture he has of his sister who died more than twenty years ago. Silence as absence is strong throughout and the character of the image as ‘memento mori’ is a common feature through many of the presentations at our workshop. With Mark’s image we are denied a vision of the person and encouraged to look at the fading on the print, the aging of the artefact. The sense of loss and the passing of time are directly visible as we scan the details of the on the reverse of his precious Polaroid image. 



The passing of time and the hidden dimensions within our landscapes are also confronted. Claire Daly’s thoughtful and sensitive mediation on landscapes which were the scenes of sexual assaults are a reminder of the silent histories that are embedded within our familiar environment. The act of photography here makes the invisible visible, and give the landscape a voice to disclose the narratives of its sometimes tragic past. Another common subject is that of the domestic environment and familial relationships. Alisha Doody represents the sense of changing kinship between two sisters. She plays with the notion of the 'silent treatment' within the dynamics of relationships – something we are all familiar with. Perhaps taking Nicholas Nixon’s ‘Brown Sisters’ as a reference point, we also sense the close bond between the two, played out in a very melodramatic and affectionate way. Through use of quoted text we are offered an insight into the emotions, feelings and narratives in and beyond the picture. Vicky Mooney’s tense exploration of her home remind us further of the complexities of the inter-relationships between family members – especially within the limited personal space of the home. Here, we sense the necessity to find solitude. Silence is possibly a need to escape - to shut-out the outside world, to find one’s own breathing space. By focusing on the makeshift, futile barriers between rooms, Vicky creates a sense of disquiet and apprehension – a feeling which is reinforced through her chosen text: “He who does not understand your silence, does not understand your words.”

Further interpretations of the word ‘Silence’ are varied in approach and concept. While Josef Kovac explores the subtle microscopic fragments of the familiar environment – the un-noticed, silent acts and traces of everyday activity, which are amplified through the act of being photographed, Kevin Buckley interprets ‘The Horses’ by Ted Hughes with a poetic sensibility to the fragments of nature. We are reminded with both these works that the photographic eye is not a passive eye, it is very much an active one. The world opens itself up our imagination, and our intention as image makers is always to find hidden meaningful dimensions to the world that we are so familiar with. The concept of theme-based work encourages students to become aware of these dimensions, as well as deal with the complexities of the photographic medium.  The value of this, and other themes we introduce, is our willingness to share our experiences of the world - in visual form, to open up debate about who we are and how we perceive the world we inhabit. It’s a nurturing process that, in many ways, has always been about going beyond the silent surface of things. 


"...a silent cry a silent weep a prisoner of my mind fighting to escape" 

Mandy Kavanagh

                                                                                                        c. Mark Colgan

                                                                                                      c. Vicky Mooney


                                                      c. Kevin Buckley


"...grey silent fragments of a grey silent world"
                                             c. Alisha Doody

                                                                                      c. Sharon Flanagan

                                                                                                           c. Claire Daly

                                                                                                          c. Paul Bolger



                                                                                                            c. Josef Kovac

“We are inundated by marketing images. They shout at us from billboards, buses, bus shelters, newspapers, magazines, TV etc. When we close our eyes so that we no longer see these advertisements, or product placements, we experience a sensory relief - a silence for the eyes. There are icons, there are brands and there are iconic brands. Iconic brands are instantly recognisable.  They no longer need words on their jars or packets. Their logos, labels or custom shapes define these brands. In this series of images I have removed most of the wording from the labels and, I think, each product speaks for itself.”
                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                           - Caitriona Whyte (1st Year)














Text: Martin Cregg (2nd Year Tutor)




Friday, December 20, 2013

1st Year Workshop | 'Rendering Space' (Dec 2013)



c. Diana Zamjatkina


Any given space is measurable and limited, but the possibilities of expression within that space are immeasurable and limit-less. This is the foundational basis of our ‘Rendering Space’ workshop. We take any given space, small or large - a room, a street, a building - and we produce a variety of individual representations and expressions of it and from it. The workshop explores how students visually interact with their immediate & familiar environment and express that limited space within given time restraints. The workshop is developed for 12-20 students, each closely negotiating the same enclosed space of the school grounds.  

c. Edwina Noonan
c. Edwina Noonan
c. Diana Zamjatkina
c. Sharon Flanagan
c. Andrea Pozgai
c. Samantha Ryan
c. Caitriona Whyte
c. Helen Carter
c. Arturas Rackauskas









Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1st Year Theme | 'A Sense of Place'


Edwina Noonan c.

This is a task allocated to Year One students at the end of the first term. Each student was asked to produce a series of images based on the assigned theme: ‘A Sense of Place’. The task had no set criteria and was open to students' interpretation of what the term or theme encapsulates. The process involved a lengthy discussion about how to conceptualize the theme, a few suggestions of visual approaches, artists and photographers to explore and some key ideas surrounding issues of place. Students had two weeks to prepare images for a group critique, where issues ranging from fundamental technical concerns to issues relating to the translation of idea, context and meaning are discussed. The complete selection of the work is then selected by a 'jury' of second year students, who make a choice of ten projects. 

Selected Works: Edwina Noonan, Olga Kuzmenko, Martin Raferty, Neil ORourke, Mandy Kavanagh, Aoife McDermott, Samantha Ryan, Helen Carter, Andrea Poszgai, Sandra Ryan

Olga Kuzmenko c. 

Mandy Kavanagh c.

Aoife McDermott c. 



Samantha Ryan c.

Helen Carter c. 

Edwina Noonan c. 

Andrea Pozsgai c.

Sandra Ryan c.