In my 7th grade English class, we read Liam O’Flaherty’s The Sniper, a short story about the Irish Civil War. Somewhere in reading those 1,619 words, a desire to experience Ireland was triggered. Years later, in college, when I had the opportunity to study abroad – although I had long forgotten about O’Flaherty’s story – I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Since then I have returned several times for short vacations with family and friends and upon each return, I explore a different way of photographing the land, the buildings, and occasionally, the people around me. Ultimately, this series is interested in better understanding the essence of a place that does not belong to me. It is one that I only briefly know through the books I read, the films I watch, and occasionally, the short visits I enjoy.
notes from each visit:2001200720112012
The photos in the 2001 series consist of images that I shot during my study abroad experience through the School for International Training. While our studies focused primarily on The Troubles, we also examined the broader history and culture of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Dissatisfied with both my studio practice and my 9-5 office job, I embarked on a road trip in Ireland with two close friends. Prior to the trip, we made as few reservations as possible, abandoning preparation for spontaneity. Naturally, I brought a camera and decided to shoot color for the first time. What resulted was an explosion of over-saturated images full of light-leaks, volatility, and a delicate balance between reality and dreams. This balance echoed our ten-day rejection of jobs, commitments, and responsibilities, which were still very present in our lives. Yet, with an ocean between them and us, we were able to temporarily escape into a world where they did not exist.
I returned to Ireland in 2011 on a family vacation. Despite coming from a family of always-traveling people, this was the just third time in my life that we took a full vacation together and in contrast to the spontaneity of my 2007 roadtrip, this trip was well-planned and organized. As a result, I ditched the Holga camera that I had used in 2007 and brought along a Hasselblad 500C instead.
I returned in August for a friend’s wedding. No photos were taken.