Eoin O’ Conaill (Irleand)

Common Place

In “Common Place”, I produced a set of landscapes and portrait images that explore the idea of modern Ireland. I looked at new buildings, etc. as a means of reflecting change, but as I photographed and spoke to people, it became apparent that there was a lot more beyond the visual evidence of change. Images made around Ireland by both native and foreign photographers, have mostly tended to position themselves between one of two poles: traditional “country life” imagery or, in more recent times, the popular image of a modern cosmopolitan, successful country.

This representation of the present exists for me in the everyday streets, houses, buildings landscapes and peoples. While it is impossible to examine every aspect of the “everyday”, I believe that by isolating a synthesis of our everyday vernacular, a more honest and interesting insight into the landscape of a country at this time can be achieved. By including images made in daytime, at night, in the rain or fog, my work aims to create a narrative reflecting the reality of our everyday experience and explore the relationship between people and the Irish landscape. I am interested in visual contradictions embedded in the present, the building waiting to be transformed, the land newly concreted, and the changing compositions and attitudes of a population, where the optimism and base reality of human existence are witnessed as a people survive. The use of light within these images, generally made in the early morning or late evening, as the light changes, reflects and responds to this transition of what is vanishing and what is newly emerging.

Eoin O’ Conaill

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