My current work explores the relationship to place and memory through photography. During my residency in the Burren in 2011, I spent time investigating sites of memory related to the Irish famine. The work, Lament is my response to spending time in the Burren. Many of the sites, I photographed remain hidden and not well known. With unlimited studio access, at the Burren College of Art, I was free to experiment, to draw upon a reservoir of creativity , undisturbed. The residency offered me a heightened sense of creativity which deepened my sense of connection to the area. Through a process of daily walking and photographing, I developed a poetic response to past events in the present moment.
Lament is a series of photographs
This body of work represents a moment of distillation in a larger complex history of emigration. The work, Lament consists of three elements: the remains of the famine village, the images of the sea/tides and the remains of the workhouse. Each element is discrete in its own depiction but when combined, reveal a sense of place and connectedness. The sad beauty of the famine sites, which are overrun by ‘nature’, is a fitting metaphor for reclaiming loss and memory. The sea represents the rhythm of life and the plight of the emigrant; Displayed along with images of the workhouse, the photographs suggest both a sense of loss and of hope. Lament also offers a reflective chance to pause on a particular moment in history and connect it to our own time of mass emigration, conflict and world famine.