True a component part of the project, Leaving Dublin, was shown there in the National Photographic Archive as part of the photoIreland festival show Living-Leaving in 2012. But the show of all three components of the greater photographic project did not come together until October 2013 when I was invited to assemble a solo show for Siamse Tire, in Tralee Co, Kerry.
As this show came together on site the plan for a book of On Leaving evolved over the stay in Kerry where I designed and then Installed the show with the help of fellow photographer Lanka Perren. From that day my mission was to work on pulling the final components of the work together by traveling and making the remaining portaits and Landscapes needed to cradle the texts which were slowly coming into view. It took a further year of travel and the intervention of superbly thought out design by Niall McCormack to bring the book On Leaving into existence. Terrifically printed by Nicholson Bass in Belfast this book was named the best printed book of the year In 2015 by the print industry of all Ireland.
The Book On Leaving is the reason for this presentation of the work in Dublin. The existence of Epic Ireland in the vaults of the chq building the reason for showing the work in this location. And the time is now right to show the work to a bigger audience as it appears things are returning to normal in Ireland at this time.
As we all know appearances can be deceptive so we have to be aware of all that has happened to the people of Ireland over the last eight years or so. On Leaving provides a lens through which we can look back over this latest twist in the tale of the Irish Diaspora. During the period of the show the book will be available to contextualise the work which hangs in the large gallery space on the ground floor of the chq building.
I am grateful to Carole Caprani who arranged the show and to Ian Monahan for frame design, providing the soundtracks to many manifestations of the work and for hanging the work with Adam Abuzenan, and to Pete Smyth for texting us up.
I also hope that a a big group of you the readers of this blog turn up on the night of the launch on Friday the 20th of May 2016 to celebrate all of those people who took part and collaborated in the work that has become On Leaving. The work wil be introduced by Ciara Kenny, journalist and editor of the Irish Times Generation Emigration Blog
I hope to see you there!