Affordable, accessible and in the Guinness Book of World Records as the simplest instrument to play, the ukulele has found much favour in the city.
Ukulele Tuesdays is one weekly gathering where everyone comes along to jam on tracks from Hit Me Baby (One More Time) to Psycho Killer.
Brendan Duffy photographs some of its regulars in what one may consider a conventional ukulele pose and then captures their rock star alter-egos.
“As a regular to the Stag’s Head pub, I was aware of the Ukulele Tuesday’s night that took place upstairs over the last few years and finally got round to dropping in one Tuesday night last summer.
At the same time, I had been looking to photograph a personal portrait project for myself and hit upon the idea of photographing some members of the Ukulele Tuesdays collective.
From the first night I attended I was drawn to their quirkiness. They’re a friendly bunch and were open to the idea of my project.
Mark Mangan, who started the collective four years ago, was really helpful in finding subjects for me as well as participating.
Everyone there comes together on a Tuesday night though their shared love of the ukulele and to sing their hearts out.
Of course, everyone there has a different background and story so I wanted to express this visually by using different colour palettes and create a kind of character for each subject photographed, with a little nostalgic nod to the ukulele.
I had seen some of artist Tadeo Cern’s project “Blow Job” and wanted to incorporate aspects of this in some of the portraits for added humour.
So I was slightly nervous about asking each subject if I could use a leaf blower to distort their faces, but thankfully everyone agreed.
Some of them even enjoyed it I think.
I enjoyed portraying various elements of their personalities in the images.
Jenny brought her baby son Jake to the shoot, so we had to get him involved somehow.
Hannah is an acrobat as well as ukulele player, so the sling had to make an appearance.
Sean had some amazing and unique ukuleles with him, somehow the banjo style one seemed to suit him best.
A big thanks to Mark, Lily, Sean, Hannah and Jenny from Ukulele Tuesdays for their generous participation.”
Words and Photos: Brendan Duffy
Photography and art direction: Brendan Duffy
Styling: Jill Anderson
Make Up & Grooming: Emma Lou Wright and Marina Granville
Photo Assistance: Marcus Cassidy, Louise Glennon and Paloma Brito
Retouching: Floss Creatives
Photographed at Grey Area Studios, Dublin