‘Local’ presents an overview of Pete Smyth’s ongoing photography project documenting aspects of life in Tallaght, West Dublin. One of Ireland’s leading documentary photographers – Smyth lives in Killinarden in Tallaght. The exhibition brings together his renowned portrait series ‘Traveller’ and ‘View from the Dearth’ shown here for the first time alongside his work charting street and nightlife in and around Tallaght.
Spanning a period of over 30 years ‘Local’ reflects Smyth’s own political concerns and experiences as a community arts worker and social activist. Smyth has had a level of access to his subjects and a capacity to portray their experiences denied to photographers from outside the community.
Collectively the works create an intimate portrait that captures bittersweet moments of private reflection and public reverie. Aware of the dynamics and complexities of his dual role of observer and subject, Smyth’s unsentimental representation of Tallaght and its people makes visible the social and physical transformations the area has undergone. ‘Local’ charts the development of Tallaght from a socially deprived outlying suburb to urban centre with a strong sense of community.