We are continuing our partnership with Griffith College showcasing the work of the graduating class from the BA in Photographic Media. The full body of work is now live at creative.griffith.ie and in a limited-edition box set, which includes one beautifully produced zine by each photographer, serving as a memento of their photographic practice.
We are presenting the work of each graduate along with some images we have selected here and on instagram over the week. In this post, we are looking at the work of Sorcha Flattery, Hannah Donohue, Max Feehan and Eleanor Barry.
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A Ballad of Home by Sorcha Flattery
(shortlisted for the Gallery of Photography 2021 Graduate Development Awards)
Artist statement: This body of work explores the relationship between people and home. In particular, this work explores the home I grew up in, a place I have been raised for the majority of my life. In recent years, everything here feels much smaller and familiar spaces no longer exhibit the same kind of home comforts from earlier years. Though my home is filled with happy memories it has come to a point in my life where it has stopped growing and developing with me and it is now time to move on. Documenting this precious place now feels important, somewhat urgent. The desire to latch on to memories from the past is so strong, yet an impulse to move on, so intense. What is important to remember – what is important to forget?
The concept of home has had even more profound meaning during the pandemic, did this inform your work and approach?
Similar to most people, I was confined to my house during the pandemic which gave me the push to explore the feelings of unease I’ve felt towards my home. However, it wasn’t the sole influence of the work as it’s not a pandemic-specific piece. The feeling of outgrowing your home is applicable to most people as they grow older. Fortunately, the pandemic meant I had the luxury of shooting 24/7 which I otherwise might not have been able to do.
There’s a frozen in time sentimentality to some of your shots, is this a mood you strove for? Did any other photographers inspire your approach?
That was the way I approached the majority of my shots and I’m glad that that comes across in my images as I wanted there to be a visual representation of how I feel the house has stopped developing with me and is stuck in a time I can’t go back to. One photographer that inspired me consistently throughout shooting this body of work was Clare Gallagher and her piece “Domestic Drift”, it helped me to see beauty in the mundane and apply that to my own practice.
How was the hybrid experience of final year in Griffith for you? What will you take from it into your career?
Regardless of the difficulties of online learning and having a “hybrid experience” of college I feel like my peers and I have gotten an educational experience like no other and going forward I know I can creatively flourish under though circumstances. In my opinion Griffith have adapted amazingly to the covid crisis and have always been very supportive of their students. They have produced fantastic creatives and I’m honored to be amongst the class of 2021.
The Beautiful Boy by Hannah Donohue
Artist statement: “…many males are beautiful, at least for a part of their lives, … some are staggeringly, even supernaturally beautiful.” [Germaine Greer ‘The Beautiful Boy’] Traditional representations of men perpetuate the myth of a strong, rugged, and macho archetype. Contrarily, I have instead shifted the focus towards the delicate and fluid state to which Greer alludes. By using tender and unguarded images, with soft materials such as wool, skin and flowers, I am challenging this and presenting an alternative vision of man’s vulnerable and sensitive side. The fragile and fleeting cherry blossoms symbolise their evanescent beauty. My goal is not to transform these men back to a boyish state; instead, I wish to linger on this time of beauty, transience, and vulnerability.”
The Game Is Not Dying by Max Feehan
Artist statement: “Sport has the power to change lives. With over 1.7 million people actively participating in sport each week, its role in Irish society cannot be undervalued. It is well known that the physical and mental benefits of playing any sport from the early days are immense. Their abrupt end in the last fourteen months has been damaging for so many of those involved in the GAA setup. For Jack Cullinan, the challenges have been overpowering for him and his teammates. This series of images reflects on Jack’s solo venture. Jack’s unaccompanied training routines broaden away from the back garden and the local GAA Grounds. When the time comes Jack will be ready to step back out onto the pitch.”
The Space Between Us by Eleanor Barry
Artist statement: “As a child I felt alone, and still am. One feels more isolated in this current time as we are increasingly deprived of an opportunity for personal interaction. We are bereft of so many outlets of enjoyment, and the remote nature of work can exasperate feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction. Such dissatisfaction prompts people to look for compensation elsewhere as we all need nourishment for our psyche. Is it possible to find such nourishment in an urban setting? I find myself questioning my surroundings, why am I here? Is there any sufficient content or meaning to one’s existence? Spending time in our current empty streets and also looking to nature has provided me with a sense of balance and optimism in a time were individually and collectively as humans we are being confronted with our own fragility.”