Monday, 17 December 2012


Yes! the internet makes the world a smaller and much more accessible place that's the truth.
Sure it's that concept which breathed life into my own blog, The Lilliputian, a photographic blog for the small world.
It's only when I stepped outside my hall door in Dublin and put one foot after the other that the scale of the world re-established itself in my head.
I have been away for over 8 weeks now and I have visited so many fantastic people in so many cities.
It took 23 hours to shoot us across the world to the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. Once arrived there Jet Lag and the hard work of winding up publicity to the opening of the "Leaving Dublin" exhibition immediatly took its toll and wiped out the first 12 days of the journey. (But what a 12 days!!)
It was only a week and a half into the trip that I started to wake up as I prepared to travel off to visit some of my sitters who had settled in Australia and New Zealand.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


I am sitting outside the Frisco hotel, on Dowling,in Woolloomooloo,Sydney Australia. Its 10.41.November 6th 2012
There,Thats me located in this moment.
So much has happened in the last 2weeks or so its mind blowing!
I have been to 3 radio stations,Talked to 4 more on the is one
 news of the work appeared in two national and on Victorian news papers.
I met with the Directors of the centre for contemporary photography(Melbourne)
And the Director of the Australian centre for photography(Sydney)
Two Fantastic people who were delighted to share their knowledge of  Australian systems with me. I am really looking forward to developing the  relationship with Australia that has been started with the Leaving Dublin exhibition at the Immigration Museum,Melbourne.
In Melbourne all was amazing!
As expected by the exacting yet fluid nature of communications from the Museum over the last 10 months,all at the museum flowed,nothing was left to chance,all works were completed and the exhibition was in place as per spec. on my arrival. Everthing looked so right nothing needed to be moved only one adjustment needed to be made to the biggest image,that of Aoife O'Donnell.
The graphics in the entrance corridor were sweet,the red wall at the end phenomenal.,the colour palate for text,wall,and furniture, all allowed the work to sing as it was intended,about the colourful characters who came from the colourful city Dublin.
The QR code was in place to take people here,the running order of the show,with links to each post as they appeared on the blog however many months before that might have been.
On the night of the opening I think I was just coming out of the jet lag zone,although it may have been that I was on an adrenaline buzz but it was all good.
the CEO of  Museum Victoria, Dr Patrick Greene,opened proceedings,and the museums Manager Padmini Sabastian spoke also and made it so easy for me to then speak off the cuff.
The most important thing I had to say on the night was a heartfelt thank you to all at the museum but in particular to Lisa Collins the person who silently pulled the whole thing together!
The work was also brought to life by the presence of two sitters Conor Savage and Elaine Bannon,they really felt the moment and no doubt

Frances Devlin Glass wrote a great review for Tinteán,and we met so many friends of friends at the opening who have relocated here.Simon Spain,Victoria Rhyle and their daughter Georgia,Terry Mahon ,J.P. Tansey and his beautiful wife Rebecca, Dawn Bennett,Meredith Chipperton,and the fantastic John Francis, journalist who put together the great video piece at the expo.
Diane and  Patrice of Credo communications made my life so stress free during the prelaunch publicity.
All is going so well on this trip and already I have made new work on film with Trish and Stephen and Lynn all in glorious monochrome.
Time has moved on!
Its Late in the evening now and I am holed up in the blue mountains outside Sydney in a couple of days i will be in Perth to follow up on more of my sitters.As I travel I will keep posting images to fb and tumblr  so keep an eye out as they say and know that this project has started to roll with big thanks to the photoireland festival and the Immigration museum melbourne!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


When I first started my blog The Lilliputian I knew who I was.
A little guy talking to the big world.
This truth holds,but now it would seem the word has got out.
The world was and is listening.This has made the world for me smaller,my sized!!
It is eager for visuals and stories it wants to share in emotions,emotions displayed by all of the sitters
in my Leaving Dublin project for example.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


A couple of weeks ago I had an email from fellow photographer Ciara O'Halloran. She said she was leaving, and she would like to sit for me!
Of the  hundred plus people I have worked with on this project Ciara was my tenth photographer!
It is for me a resounding call of validation for my work when another of my number pays me the compliment of sitting with me before they leave  home for a new land.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Crackin' up!

It was great to meet last week with Paul Moloney a Dublin bar manager who was striking out to take on the world and do his level best to make a life for himself in Perth Australia.
Paul has secured sponsorship in Australia and so he is away to manage a bar and by now he is well into  his second week at work there.
I met Paul on Harry Street Dublin outside the famous Bruxelles pub and club where he fancied posing with one of Ireland's rock legends and larger than life personalities Philip Lynott.
Its hard to believe that Phil passed away over 25 years ago during the middle of our last big wave of emigration, around about the time that I lost all of my siblings to London.
Paul, a very happy and vibrant man told me after the shoot of his family and their connections to Australia through family members who had moved down through the years.
He was optimistic for his future and delighted for the opportunities which lay ahead but he did add,
"I have much love for this country, this city and my own home town. It's a place I would love to be able to excel in and ply my trade at a level I want to, with success....But......sadly.... IT AIN'T POSSIBLE."

We wish Paul the best and remember one of Phil's insightful lyrics of memory and loss

Iv'e been spending my time in the old town,
I sure miss you honey since your not around,
since your not around this old town.

I really look forward to catching up with Paul when I visit Perth in early November, by then hopefully he will be feeling at home!!

Both Ray and Artur were at hand to look after the technical stuff and as always all went smoothly with their guidance.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Post 115!

Well here we are two months off a three year stint here on blogger,approaching 60,000 pageviews,a successful show behind me in Dublin,and a major solo show in Melbourne,Australia fast approaching.
I thought I would take this opportunity to alert you all to the above and to show further developments from the follow up process which I have embarked upon.

Thursday, 6 September 2012


It was with great delight that I traveled by car across the rolling French countryside to Quimper in Brittany to meet Tady Walsh,his wife Milena,and their new beautiful baby Helena.
Staying across the other side of the region I messaged Tady on spec to see if he was around.
He told me that they had just had a child some hours previous and he was very excited at the prospect of all that was to come.I said I would call him again towards the end of the week.I did and arrived to his house to meet him and Helena who was by then a little short of 2 weeks old.(Milena was resting at this time)

Tady still works for the same company he was with in Ireland,all of his work is carried out online so for him the the move to France was merely to try something different,to be located centrally between Ireland and Montenegro(Milina's homeland)and perhaps there was a small need to escape the crushing negativity that exudes our capital at the moment.
Whatever the case Tady and Milena have started to write a new chapter of their life with Helena
I wish them all the best and look forward to dropping in on them again to see how things are going.

this Is the second visit I have made to a sitter in their new location(the first being Conor Mc Mahon), and I am so far happy with the choices I have made regarding the capture of this work.When I go to Australia next month I hope to make several calls to the many sitters I have photographed and to make work on a similar style.It would be beneficial at this point to know what you the viewer think of this mode of work (medium format,120 monochrome film,wide angle lens,no flash)
When it comes to preparing a book I feel that these closer square images will offer a good counterpoint to the other work already shot in colour.
Please let me know what you think in the comments box!!

Thursday, 23 August 2012


This next post brings together a lot of strands of the leaving dublin project.
Here we pause to take stock of all that has happened to date.
Make some new work.
And set out the plans for the way forward.
Lots has happened since my proposal back in february 2010 in my own life and indeed in the lives of my sitters.
Watching as they weave there new route through life I have come to accept that this is the natural order of things.
In Ireland we are at the mercy of all sorts of external influences and as the international markets agitate against the Euro we are in a very sad state,but no worse than before and Ireland and the Irish will abide. We must deride those who sold us the false dreams of 1973,and Indeed Lisbon 2 in 2009 just before the real slide started.We are now strapped fully to the E.U.mast and must take whatever come its way with no real say anymore. C'est la vie.
Julie Mitchel married last weekend,Tady Walshes wife Milena just gave birth in Quimper ,France, Gareth Doolin just posted a happy picture of himself and his daughter Macey on Facebook,Linda dePaor settled in New Zealand and has given birth to a beautiful baby boy since!!
So goes it and as the months and years pass by the lives of my sitters tell to me the story of the new Irish, rising,moving and overcoming adversity.Their stories into the future  are for me what is important so it is my plan now to follow and document further the lives of my sitters and to follow them to the four corners of the world to see how they are getting on.
Some initial manoeuvres have been carried out back home and I am glad to report that Jacinta Sheerin,Ryan Cronin Neilan,and Conor mc Mahon are all doing well.
I have just made my first European visit yesterday I visited Tady Walsh, Milena and their baby hopefully this is the forerunner to  a serious session to follow in october in Australia and Possibly New Zealand!!
On my return to Ireland at the end of the month I will endeavor to document the early morning emptiness of all of the sites used to date for the leaving dublin project,hopefully the weather will be on my side!!
The Shot above is of Louise Haslett ,her daughter Ella,and her son Ewan.
Louise and co have by now departed for Brisbane Australia,her husband left ahead of them to set things in order while Ella was completing her Junior cert.
I talked at length with Louise about her departure and she told me that Although things were tough in her profession right now(she is an architect) finance was not he primary motivator for her move.But,the current sentiment in our country has made it easier for people like Louise to think of life further afield and to consider all sorts of different scenarios as an improvement of their lot.
The work was made in their back garden in Swords.Ewan skates on a Rich Gilligan inspired home skateboard ramp!!
I hope too to catch up with Louise and to meet with her family and her husband George once I arrive in Australia in october.
On the night of the shoot we were being filmed for a documentary by film maker Donald Taylor Black.
With a working title of 'Stuffing The Tiger' Donald is mapping a picture of the crash by making observations on several artists reactions/work  across several disciplines.
During the course of his filming he has focused on four photographic projects and I pride myself on being in the good company of Mark Curran,Anthony Haughey,Sean Hillen.
Donald and his crew Paddy and Carl joined my self and Carole for dinner after an interview and before the shoot.It was a very enjoyable meal for all and the night continued in a happy tone right up to Louise's house were we found herself and Ewan and Ella ready and in great form,expectant for a bright future in Australia.
Ray and my own brother Ian looked after lighting on the night and Ian actually made a good connection with Donald  and hopefully some of his original music will be used in Donalds upcoming documentary.
So after a fantastic show in Dublin this July and with more to come in Australia in october and around Ireland next year now is no time to be resting on the laurels so On we go. Full Steam Ahead!!

As always shares on fb and twitter are available on the top right of the page and comments are always enjoyed and responded to.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Now that its come down I have to say that being involved in the photoireland festival (edition 3)
has been for me a very big experience. Having one of the main exhibitions with my now good friend, Maurice Gunning, in what has over the 3 short years has been one of the key venues, has been a fantastic experience.
Very early on we decided to make it a very sophisticated and polished show, with very high standards of presentation applied and no expense spared in the production.
For my part I must thank all who supported the fundit campaign and indeed the Immigration Museum Melbourne, both helped my component to the max!

Sunday, 24 June 2012


 The last couple of weeks have been very busy so I suppose I should take a few minutes to talk you through all thats been going on and what's to come!
First off I have been preparing for the launch of the third PhotoIreland festival it kicks off on July 1st
and set to be the best yet with a fantastic program as always covering the Gamut of photographic styles allowing for an open and honest discourse around this years theme, Migrations, the Diaspora and Cultural Identity. As with last year there will be a book and magazine fair at Moxie studios and several programmed shows hosted within the theme.

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Well time is moving on and the leaving Dublin project is well into the second year of its shooting(its been active for 27 months now)
Things are not getting any better on the streets in fact they get worse.
We are indeed feeling the pain of four austerity budgets in a row as money is sucked out of circulation and commercial activity continues on its downward spiral.The publicity maelstrom whipped up for the upcoming referendum is a mere diversion from the fact that whatever the outcome we are destined to continue down this road until this government falls out of favour with the electorate.As before the flaws in our system will leave us waiting whilst another set of deluded ministers bury their heads in the sand regarding our stressed population and only have eyes for keeping the show on the road.No time for negativity,just lets hear the good news,the rewards of their hard labour.
In fact there is no good news that will negate the hardships that are being felt on the streets right now, therein lies the flaw in the current political thinking.
But you know people are making the best of their lives still despite the weary weight that we are all squarely bearing.
For some this means relocating,emigrating,leaving home family and friends, in order to persue their chosen career.
One such  person is Gemma Geraghty.
Gemma an Artist, graduated last summer from Art school,A hard worker she worked in retail whilst interning in Dublin and London(six months) to gain experience.
through most of 2011 Gemma worked on the Leaving Dublin Project and was a great help on many a shoot in and around town(all Gemma shoots here).Now thanks to her hard work and dedication she has secured a full time position working on a technical team in a large London Gallery.
I congratulate her warmly and,just like her family,friends and boyfriend Paddy, I will miss her dearly,again saddened by the depressed state of the cultural section(be that only financial) in Ireland at the moment.
So like so many others  in order to get her career project over the line Gemma has had to take the boat.
She is following in a long line of cultural export and I hope she is soon to return,but I doubt it will be any time soon.
Ray hegarty and Artur Sikora headed up the lighting team on this shoot,a perfect job as always!

Back in Dublin I am trying to get a little project of mine over the line as we move a little closer to a milestone ,a print exhibition.
The cost of  mounting a substantial piece worthy of my sitters is high and response has been great to my funding campaign of
There is only 2 days left on the campaign and it is close to reaching its goal.
The important thing to note is that if it fails to reach its target no funds will change hands.
So please help me to raise the last€900 euro or so by pledging to the campaign(if you have not done already) now and help get this one over the line.
there is a short video here to explain the virtues of a €150 pledge so if you can scrape it together the reward well outweighs its monetary value.
Big thanks to all who have already moved to help out its really appreciated!!
please Share and comment as always!

Sunday, 20 May 2012


Things have been very busy in my small world of late with preparations for an upcoming show in the Photographic Archives Gallery.The show featuring my Leaving Dublin Project and the fascinating story of the Argentine Irish Diaspora,as told by Maurice Gunning, is a stroke of curatorial genius bringing together  two strands of a story and enriching the narrative by adding the layers of time and distance to the discussion.
The comings the goings,the leaving,the living!
It should form a central part of discussions around the theme of the PhotoIreland festival of which it is a part,that of migrations,the diaspora,and cultural identity.

Monday, 7 May 2012


There is no doubt about it less and less photographic work today is being carried out on traditional film stock.Pretty soon it will be impossible to find someone working on large format film unless you are pretty dedicated and detective like in the way you pursue a portrait photographer.
Right now I think it would be pretty impossible to find anybody shooting on type 55 polaroid film without a really long search!And when you did make that find the cost would be very high to you.
The reason for this is that type 55 film was discontinued in 2008.
Enough stock was manufactured to satisfy projected demand for 2009 but it sold out pretty quick and was snapped up by entusiastic photographers and ebay entrepreneurs.
I have had a pretty large stock of this precious film on ice since then and I have used it sparingly.
A recent show in Dublin last February rekindled my interest in shooting on this film ,particularly as a portrait medium.
The above shot of fellow photographer Rory O Neill is a recent portrait of mine shot on a linhoff technica 4x5 camera.
Type 55 negatives are the famous source of the "Polaroid frame look". Due to the development process where a Polaroid 545 film back holds the film for exposure with a large format camera, the Polaroid reagent/gel is squeezed between the negative and positive. Some of the reagent is trapped underneath the onion-skin-like frame that crops the print into a perfect 4x5 image. This reagent however creates an impression of that frame on the negative, which is not protected. The result is a perfect negative, but with imperfect frame-like image surrounded 3 of the four sides, while the 4th side shows the impression of the connective mesh that controls aspects of the Polaroid packet's sleeve functionality.In other words each frame shot on type 55 has a unique border caused by the rollers.This negative can then be used to achieve very high quality prints.

As a reward on my current Fundit campaign for the upcoming leaving Dublin show I am offering a unique experience for those of you willing to fund  to the tune of €150+.
Its a portrait sitting with me,shot on this rare and priceless material.
The reward includes a print of same,signed and dated,a limited edition postcard,and a thank you at the venue!
Rewards far beyond the value of the pledge.
here is a direct link
keep an eye out for further information on the other rewards and postings on the fundit site.
There are also lesser and one greater rewards available for pledges from twenty euro.
big thanks
as always

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


One night last February I met with Darragh Ross and his good friend Kenny D'Arcy the Pair where ready to travel off to Australia in a matter of days and we had a long chat on the beach,before and after their respective photos where made.
Darragh an electrician\electrical engineer, was looking forward, (as was his friend Kenny) to plying his trade once more in Australia.Neither of them had the opportunity to do what they were trained to do at home as work had completely dried up for both in Ireland,leaving Darragh working in his local Mace service station.Now although he is saddened to leave his family and friends,and angered that our economy has left him booking this trip,Darragh is excited at the prospect of being out in the great wide open doing his thing and looking for his place in the whole big scheme of things!On your marks!! you might say as they line up to sprint away to give their youth energy and enthusiasm to Australian society.
Our Loss their gain!!

Friday, 27 April 2012


I could not let the morning pass and move on to the ordinary things of the day without first getting down a short reaction to beautiful experience which I had last evening.
I was asked to open an exhibition of photographic works by a group of students at my old college.
I accepted.

The exhibition was developed for the space over an 11 week period
the idea of the project to allow the participants to feel the entire process of orgainising an exhibition.

The venue Moxie Studios is large!
Avery big space.
Very impressive!
Now you would think that given the short period of time involved that some aspect of such a large undertaking would falter,after all there is a lot to do to make something like this happen.
But no.
This was a flawless endeavor.
The space just sung of the  professionalism of all those involved.
During my very short address last night I tried to draw attention to how the group had created from a single common theme a very coherent experience for the viewer.
Its a pure treat to walk through these works and to find that as well as all humanity being there a history of modern photographic practice also unfolds alongside the chosen narratives of artists concerned.
From Instagram,to holga,to pinhole,35mm b+w and colour,medium and large format film and digital.

Presentation formats where all very well considered and all the questions about presentation seem to have been addressed before the artists occupied the space.The result being that the viewer was treated to an array of different display methods,some framed some glassless, some pinned or clipped,some large,some small,but nothing that jarred and upset the flow and that is a real achievement.
I can only assume that the level of community within the group is responsible for the way in which this whole endeavor hung together and it is a testament to the artists involved and indeed to the quality of the tutoring they have received over the last years!

the show remains open till may 3rd so if your curious to see how its done,
or indeed you want to take a walk through the city in one space,this is for you!
links below

Monday, 26 March 2012


Audraí  O'Dwyer was in a great mood the night we met on Dublin's Grafton street,she was visibly excited about what lay ahead and was looking forward to her trip to Sydney Australia. she was due start a new job as communications Manager for the Urological society of Australia and New Zealand,on arrival

Friday, 16 March 2012


I met Paul Horace in a queue to enter R.T.É. studios It was december and I was in A bit of a panic as to whether I could reach the 70 mark in time for production of my video piece(airs tomorrow,in most locations).
As it turned out there was no need to worry at all and we trotted over the line a couple of weeks ago with a little time to spare to learn all about the wonders of final cut x a serious mans video editing program.Paul was the only sitter I got from that audience with the country,it wasn't the best of shows 
but it did lead to this great shot.

Monday, 12 March 2012


Meet Kenneth D'arcy a Man who had to finish a course in building services engineering after the crash.
A man who's lifestyle choice came down to working in Domino pizza in swords or emigrating to Australia to work as a building services engineer! Yes it is all about choices!But you know there are factors which turn you one way or the other in this case Kenny was looking for a little fulfillment,self-esteem,and a firm future without the threat of the rug being pulled from under him! So he is gone like so many others to Australia.On the night he presented himself in good humor but I could feel the sense of resentment towards the establishment here in Ireland. Here is what he had to say" I feel like I don't have a choice anymore.If I want a career in engineering I have to leave. I KNOW I HAVE NO FUTURE IN IRELAND!!!
I really hope some day Kenny can come back and contribute to the next phase of the Irish success story.But my instinct tell me he will be in Melbourne for some years!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I have to say the experience of shooting the leaving Dublin project has been for me a huge process.
On one hand you have the technical,the logistical,the weather,the locations,The Timing,the edits,the posts.
On the other hand you have the emotions,the people,the kinship,understanding,camaraderie,the empathy.

Monday, 20 February 2012


Some weeks ago myself,Ray Hegarty,and Ian Monahan met with Elaine Bannon,A youth worker on her way to Australia.
on Elaines request we had made a plan to shoot at Kilmainham Gaol ,scene of many a killing and hotbed of English suppression of Irish rebels during the heady days of the Irish colony.
On arrival at the proposed site we found that an illegally parked car had scuppered our original plan to make a shot featuring the large wooden door at the end of the prison building(just like several other great Irish plans, fate fiddled it all up,we all should pay more attention to the laws of probability!).
But as good forward planning always counts for something,We had a contingency plan,to shoot a long shot along the long wall, that went all the way to Kilmainham courthouse.
Well,on we went,we welcomed Elaine onto the pitch and set about getting set up! She chatted with Ian and Ray about all that was going through her head and how as her departure date got closer ,she was feeling the sense of fear rising in her,fear of the unknown,fear of what the future held for her,fear for what her life had to become in the future.But all in a good way!

Monday, 30 January 2012


Well its been a while. But here I go!
The last government of Ireland had numbed me, so much so that I became immune to their rantings, their obvious detachment, the silly unfounded statements and ridicuolus actions.
So when the new crew came along in a way I felt sorry for them and the mess they had taken on.
But the beast in me has been reawakened by our now minister for finance Michael Noonan and his leader Enda Kenny.
I suppose you could say I have had an epiphany on the road to the Malahide estuary to photograph another of our kind.  A hard working, loving, vibrant, reality, being forced to turn away and seek  feelings of worth in a mine in Perth Australia.
Oh now I realise what an empty system Irish democracy has evolved into.

Thursday, 26 January 2012


Meet Naoise Mc Gee, a recent college graduate in Film and Russian. Naoise is on her way to the busiest city in the world so it's a good job that she worked at Mao Restaurant where things are always full of hustle and bustle. Naoise lived until now on Killiney Hill and the view from her window included the Pigeon House Station. Like Marie Carroll, she decided that close to these tubes would be a good landmark for her to sit  for her glorious parting shot. Pensive is the word she actually used as she glanced at my mac screen after the shoot. She had to say that she loves Dublin, but with so many of her friends gone it seems like a ghost town (70,000 left in the last 12 months alone).

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Welcome to the second post of 2012. This one has been a while coming as things have been fairly hectic around my studio since the New Year kicked off. I have been very active over the last 5 or six weeks trying to arrange projections of a new video piece in some locations around the world.
So far four have been arranged and hopefully there will be news of more as the weeks pass by to the screening dates in March next. So far we have commitments from Melbourne Australia, Edinburgh Scotland, Alabama, U.S.A. and  Minas Gerais Brazil.  I am standing by for news from London, Bristol, New York and Chicago.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Welcome to my first post of 2012,well over the two year threshold and 96 posts behind me,almost 45000 page views,with 30,000 of them in the last year.Thanks to all of you who keep coming back!
Keep spreading the word, after all the Lilliputians world is the small one!!
As mentioned in my last post I have arranged 3 projections of my Leaving Dublin video piece
"on leaving" for march next.I noticed whilst looking for a suitable New York venue that the Irish arts centre had recently (dec 7th last)  made a 2 hour projection of a piece by Andrew Duggan  onto the side of a building on 51st street.As they have gone through this process I really would like to talk to someone there. So if anyone could get me contact details of the person who orgainised this show I would greatly appreciate it!

My next sitter now finds herself working in New York and was delighted to meet with me whilst spending some time at home in Dublin for the Christmas holiday.Aoife Mooney has been living there for almost a year now but I missed her on her original departure and we have been in touch via fb a few times  to organise a shoot when she made it home for a visit. Here is what she had to say.