Thursday, 21 May 2015

I Stand With so Much Behind Me Still Looking Out on the World

With the completion and publishing of the book ‘On Leaving’ a chapter has closed and I am delighted with the way that the act of publishing this volume has ‘book-ended’ this process in a way that punctuates my activities and my involvement in the issues surrounding modern day movement of people from my community.I now go forward with the accumulated knowledge that this process has brought to me as I immersed myself, absorbed in the pursuit of a finding a way of presenting a picture of this time and subject to you the readers of this blog, and indeed, to the greater public via the volume’ On Leaving’.

It would be true to say that my intention to start this project was not to  produce this volume. It would also  be true to say  that I did not envisage spending almost five years working solely  in this area, but this has proven to be then case! It would be truer to the facts to state that my concern initially was to make a dramatic photograph  of a single emigration for a family member. Whilst thinking of a suitable means of execution of  this duty it occurred  to me that a series of similar images  would indeed make an interesting social comment.

 From  that singular point of departure  the project On Leaving developed  exponentially and as time passed I  became more involved as I climbed its curve towards  the plateau that was to become the above mentioned publication. From this perspective, the now, I have a clear overview of all that this experience has brought to me and my  collaborators and I am set to investigate further, but from a now altered perspective and with a different way of evaluating what I find.

Let me explain. On October 1st last year (2014) I took up a research position in my old school
(IADT Dun Laoaghaire). I am currently pursuing the making of a practice led study on current Irish emigration which aims to ask a specific question.The question being:  In the case of  the current Irish emigrant, what  is the distance between expectation and reality? The answering of that question will involve the making of new artworks, (photography, moving image, soundscape) and it is envisaged that experiencing the works will add new depth to the understandings already arrived at by other academic investigations into the area of recent emigration.

A practiced led research study Is for this project, a novel and innovative way in which to look at this subject and should as a result of this new investigation from the practice perspective, add new depth to what is already known about this subject. Whilst it applies the full weight and responsibility  of academic research to the topic a large proportion of its study is given over to producing new works whose process and  creative outcomes demonstrate the generation of new knowledge. For me this means the grounding of all works on a solid base of all that has gone before. For you the viewer of these final works the reassurance that you will experience works as evocative as those I have produced in the past, but with an extra depth that may induce a desire to look deeper into the research that brought these works to life. An exhibition of this soon to be started practice component of this project will happen in early 2017.The physical work starts now.
See a great review of the book here  http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/2015/05/15434/ see it , like it , share it!
See the book here! onleaving.com , buy it!

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