So today, I thought I should write about my two week residency at JOYA in Andalusia in Spain. I spent the last two weeks of August in rural Spain, surrounded by mountains and olive trees.
I arrived in Madrid on Monday 15th August, checked into my hotel and then went straight to the Reina Sofia to see Picasso’s Guernica, which was absolutely awe-inspiring.
The next morning I had an absolute travel nightmare, but eventually made it to Velez Rubio, where Simon collected me. We drove through rural mountain roads, with seemingly no end until eventually, I saw Los Gazquez in a valley in the distance, a striking white cluster of buildings, with a wind turbine beside it. We arrived at the house and I was greeting by Donna, Simon’s wife. I had dinner with the rest of the resident artists, which was all homemade and locally-grown before collapsing into bed.
I spent the next day just settling into the house and started reading The Colony by Audrey Magee.
The following day, I got into my studio, a small room on the other side of the house, at the top of a flight of stone steps.
I spent the rest of my time at JOYA working on MRes thesis corrections, scanning slide film, taking quick walks through the landscape surrounding the house and sitting on a bench outside the house with the rest of the resident artists (and Frida the dog) to watch the sun set over the mountains.
On the Wednesday of my second week, I did an artist talk on the evolution of my practice to-date, which is something I probably need to do more of! Afterwards I went out to look at the stars, contemplating how small we are in relation to universe. Saw Orion’s Belt over the fire breaker on the nearest mountain.
A lot of updates to go though in this post – not least that I’ve just moved back to London after being home in Dublin for six months.
July 2016: we got through the Wimbledon College of Arts degree show (big ups!)
September 2016: moved back to Dublin and tried in vain to get a job in London and in Dublin
March 2017: moved back to London, much to my delight
Also in March: put a deposit down on a studio space at Hotel Elephant in Elephant and Castle (more on that in a later post)
April 2017: turned 26 (boo!)
Also in April: invested in a studio light setup (finally!) – check my Instagram profile
Other things: photo-book dummy. Accidental Journeys is going to be an actual physical BOOK. Thanks to William and Dirty Illness. More on that – process images, sketchbook photographs, design iteration images, and printing – to come in later posts!
Project planning: I shot another roll of HP5 a couple of weeks ago and finally got it processed and printed. I’m so happy with how the images turned out. Check back soon to see it on the website. I’m also planning to have done four projects by the end of 2017, updates on these on the blog as they happen – research, process and final images.
People get tetchy around people with cameras. The Express train to Gatwick is deathly quiet and my camera is obnoxiously loud. This process of image=-making without knowing how to image will turn out is freeing, yet at the same time, terrifying. Is this about the abstraction of blurry, over-exposed images? Or is it about the process?
My degree project was a book documenting the Irish Diaspora’s journeys from Ireland to England. I photographed and interviewed people in the various Irish centers around London: the London Irish Center, the Luton Irish Forum and the South London Irish Association. The book itself was hand-printed and bound but my bookmaking skills are very lacking! As such, I enlisted the help of my friend Chloe (a 2015 UAL Wimbledon graduate in Print and Time-based Media) to help me fix the binding and structure of the book itself.
Chloe won the Wandle Studio Prize for 2015/16 so she has use of a studio space at Merton Abbey Mills where she runs an “alternative book-makery” called Object Book.
PS: I’m doing photo-book narrative workshops at Object Book on the 6th of August. More details to follow.
My absence on the blog lately can be explained by attempting to pass my degree (haven’t yet, so posting might still be a bit sporadic). I’m starting a new series, looking at what I’m reading at the moment, which also ties into my current research interests and writing so I suppose I’ll just combine all that into one series – reading, researching and writing in one!
I’ve been researching and working on my graduate project which is titled “Is e Eire mo Bhaile”, which means “Ireland is my home”, in Irish. To that end, this post is about what I’m doing to research this project.
Lichtenstien and Sinclair take a very upbeat stance on the disappearance of David Rodinsky and trace this through the archive of ephemera left behind in his room in Whitechapel. The book traces Lichtenstien’s research of Rodinksy through writing and photography and gives a good example of a book using both photography and writing to illustrate.
On Friday last I had the privilege of attending and photographing an exhibition organised and curated by fellow students from Wimbledon College of Art, Katarina Rankovic and Tahmina Ahkmedov, co-curated by Kosha Hussain. CUE, held at ArtsLav in Kennington, south London, is an exhibition of painting, installation, video and mixed media work. Housed in a Victorian ex-lavatory, ArtsLav was an unusual choice of venue but worked amazingly well; with work hanging off toilet cubical doors and behind cubical doors and on the walls. The atmosphere was decidedly 1920s with Reinhardt jazz music and candles dotting the narrow rectangular space.
The rest of my photographs from the private view can be found by clicking on the photograph.
The work is on show now until the 6th of June at ArtsLav, 180 Kennington Lane, London, SE11 4UZ.
Well, sorry about the long wait for a new post. I’m editing up some photos from my trip to Berlin and I’ll have a post up with those soon, but while you wait, here are photos from a shoot I did before Christmas.