The Class of ’21 – The work of Griffith College’s graduating class in Photographic Media

Posted June 24, 2021 in Arts and Culture, Photography

BIMM jun-jul 22 – Desktop

We are delighted to partner with Griffith College to showcase the work of the graduating class from the BA in Photographic Media in our magazine. The full body of work is now live at and in a limited-edition box set, which includes one beautifully produced zine by each photographer, serving as a memento of their photographic practice.

Commenting on the class of ’21, programme director Sinéad Murphy said, “These 12 image makers have worked hard in an ever-changing learning landscape and have demonstrated both flexibility and determination. We celebrate their creativity and skills evident in work from documentary and fine art photography, both found and constructed, portraiture, landscape and commercial editorial pieces. Our students are addressing thought-provoking themes including cultural identity, sexuality, rituals and wellbeing, home, sport, our imprint on the landscape, and Irish history. We are immensely proud of this strong and beautiful showcase and hope you enjoy the work.”

We will be presenting the work of each graduate along with some images we have selected here and on instagram over the week. First up will be looking at the work of Thomas Hall,  Madison Donohoe, Philip McMillan and Kate Swift.

@griffithcollegephoto  #theboxset #griffithcollegephotography

Dearest Father, what becomes of the boy, no longer a boy

Thomas Hall

(shortlisted for the Gallery of Photography 2021 Graduate Development Awards)

Artist statement: “Attitudes towards homosexuality have changed over time and many societies today are open and accepting of same sex relationships. Still, I find myself needing to unlearn deeply embedded ideologies planted at such a developmental period in my life. When I look back upon my life experiences as a gay man, im starting to realise it is tied up with a sense of shame. Using photography and experiences from everyday life with my healthy relationship with my partner, this body of work is a vehicle for me to explore these ideas of internalised homophobia. These images attempt to articulate an internalised struggle with the melancholic weight of introspection.”

This is a deeply personal body of work – did you all consider this route when selecting a subject matter for your portfolio?

Initially, no. I wanted to create work around the idea of online dating, specifically gay online dating and the specifications requested on these sites. I soon realised that this isn’t something I can relate to as I am and have been in a long-term relationship for the past three years.

What did you discover about yourself through photography by shooting it?

When I began creating these images, the subject matter of internalised homophobia was not chosen with intent. This feeling is something I did not know how to articulate, and this work became somewhat of a photo therapy for me to fully identify this internalised struggle.

What was the hybrid experience of final year in Griffith like? How did you adapt?

Undertaking a very much practical course online for a period of time was challenging to say the least. However, it wasn’t that hard to adapt as I believe we have been blessed with a dream team of educators here at Griffith College.

Rewilding the Feminine

Madison Donohoe

Artist statement: “The book Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a large inspiration for my project ‘Rewilding the Feminine’. Her work explores the wild woman archetype and women’s connection to soul and nature, through those explorations I was able to shape my own work. Rewilding the feminine is an approach to reconnect with the inner self, back towards nature employing the use of a gentler, more feminine energy. My work seeks to find and show these connections between the feminine and nature knowing that they are intrinsically connected. Because feminine form and soul have always found representation in nature, my images explore both the female form and the natural landscape.”

Me Jewel and Darlin Dublin

Philip McMillan

Artist statement: Me Jewel and Darlin Dublin is based on observations I make during my daily experience of traveling around Dublin. I am inspired by the words of the photographer William Eggleston, who stated in his landmark book The Democratic Forest (2012), “no subject matter is more or less important than another. I see artistic beauty in the everyday normality of things. Amidst the hectic pace of life nowadays, these wonders are regularly missed. I aim to show the convergence of old and new and illustrate how nature can survive in neglected buildings, creating something beautiful and unique.”

First Dead Man Buried Under Soil 

Kate Swift

Artist statement: “There is a part of Ireland’s history which includes a mysterious enclave that entwines with the very soul of mankind: a coastal site named Ard Ladhrann in County Wexford. Between myth and matter, shivers and shapes, land and sea, lies Ladra, the first dead man buried under Irish soil. In the eleventh century Book of Invasions, its manuscript records the origins of the ancient Irish from the creation of the world, to the myth of the man Ladra and the beyond. These environments inspired Kate Swift to unearth this hidden story, which is intertwined with an exploration of her own unconscious roots and childhood attachments to Wexford. A universal story grounded in ancestral roots, it questions mortality and the mystery a landscape can retain and how a story that predates history can be resurrected through the visceral medium of photography. Working intuitively, Swift sought to unearth the deeper existence and soul of this land, its people, past and present.”




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