Monday, 20 January 2014


Truth said there has been a bit of negativity and cynicism hanging around the Lilliputian for the last few posts. Now that the heat is off Ireland internationally, I suppose we should redouble our efforts to ignore the political to and fro-ing that makes Irish life so tedious and feel good in the knowledge that as long as nothing changes too much, the politicos, their managers, advisors, scriptwriters etc will keep that little industry rolling on forever and a day.
No more political entertainment here till at least 6 months before the next General election!

Lets talk about people instead. You know the type that featured in The Leaving Dublin project.
The hard working, motivated, living, loving leavers who had no choice but to cross the street to take a walk in the sunshine.
I have had reason to look out for them of late.
I have been curious about there lives.
What they are doing?
How they are getting along?
How they are settling?
How are things working out?
On Visits to London, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney,  Melbourne, Christchurch, Brittany and as some returned to Dublin for a visit or to resettle, I have met with lots of my sitters. Posts relating to these visits can be found here.

For example, one Saturday morning in July I set off very early for Loughshinny County Dublin to meet with Graham Martin.
Graham now lives with his partner and little baby girl in Sao Paulo and was home for his sisters wedding. He is working in Brazil teaching English and is a big photography fan shooting and writing a lot. Coffee was had in his parent's back garden and I zipped through a roll of tmax 400 to produce this momento of his visit home.
I left knowing he was safe!

Just after Christmas I noticed a picture of one of my sitters with some friends on the net. It looked like it was an Irish pic so I mailed her she was here and a few days later I met with the Beautiful Aoife Mc Monagle for a catch up at Blackrock Co.Dublin. Walking and talking about her life in Toronto was inspiring and I was delighted to make a photo. I left her smiling, well over three years since we had first met. Both of us had been through so much since April 2010 when she left for Canada.

Shortly into the new year I met with Henning Koestler a German who lived in Dublin for over 10 years. He was back in Dublin to visit his girlfriend. We first met during the PhotoIreland festival Henning actually wrote a sequence of packing numbers on my works as we packed them up for transport to Australia,(you could say he left his mark on my work!) Back then he let me know he would be moving soon and a year or so later he was my second last sitter in the series!
He is working hard to establish himself in a new city and has no illusions about how much hard work he must put in now to make his life complete. We had fun chatting over coffee and then walking through deserted Dublin streets on new years day. Inspirational!!
Now I suppose you can see how my interest in these people above and those linked from this article,
has turned me into a very curious person. But each one of them is very special to me. We shared some very special moments just before a huge parting, it has affected me and I am now looking forward to making arrangements to travel in April to the Americas to catch up with as many as I can on both those continents. I want to meet them, make new work and find out haw they have been doing since we sat together in the darkness of late night Dublin thinking of what lay ahead.

 I am hoping that the work generated in this process added to the completed  survey series and the completed Leaving Dublin series will help build the exhibition process started at Siamse Tire where ON LEAVING had its first outing.
I am delighted to announce here that it will have its second solo showing and American Debut in Washington D.C. where it will be hosted by Solas Nua an organization dedicated to Irish contemporary art.
It is also my wish to bring the process to a close by the end of the year and bookend the process beautifully with the publication of a book.

With further shows on the horizon in the USA, you can see how challenging times lie ahead.
It's now time to set the mind to build positively and steadily towards a successful end to this process.
This project at completion will be just how I have seen and shepherded it through the years but so much more than it appeared to be when it exploded onto the Irish photography scene with a report on the Wall street journal 12 shots into the process.
As I turn my attention to the wider world, I am hoping that I keep my resolve and positive outlook whilst keeping myself free from negative game play.
It's time to engage!
The prize - a deeper knowledge of a brave new world.
The world of my sitters.
Wish me luck!
Please comment below especially if you re one of my sitters in Canada, U.S.A. Mexico, or Brazil.

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