Christo and Jean Claude never explained, interpreted or gave meanings to their work; they didn’t need to. We will always obligingly do that for them. Writers and art critics have theorised about their ideas, conjuring a complex set of social, political, philosophical and psychological reasons why we should be interested in the art they produced. If I list many of the customary arguments here, you might consider them to be pretentious, meaningless drivel. And who knows, you may well be right. What I know is, I love the mystery and sense of wonder they created by using the unbelievably simple device of concealment, and for some reason it is far more effective if the object is relatively well known and familiar in terms of scale and shape.
Photography differs from painting. Paintings liberate the artist from the tyranny of the subject and the objectivity of the lens. You can manipulate a photograph to create impossible realities and surreal events, but the light from objects passing through an optic is the starting point. Chance is a key element in a successful photograph, the chance alignment of distinct elements such as lighting, weather, people and place. What are the chances of standing in front of Ely Cathedral in a dense fog as a silhouetted monastic figure walks towards the Gothic doorway? Clearly, much higher than you would imagine if you photograph the Cathedral as many times as I do.
Lumix G9 Olympus 12-40 mm lens
They say that Dublin is the City of Literature and I have to agree. It may not be W.B, Yeats or Seamus Heaney but this once fine public house is an unsung wordsmith, conjuring a poetic language of its own as it self edits into oblivion. Will you be having a jar at the St. Ja? Tis the patron saint of jars and the finest purveyors of fine W’s this side of the River Liffey. And me Darlin, says I, I don’t mind if I do.
Lisbon is a city full of beautiful ornate buildings displaying rich architectural details and often with highly decorative tiled surfaces. This large scale photograph is a montage of a selection of images taken earlier this year in and includes buildings located on the main avenues leading down to the Alfama district.
‘Look Before You Leap’
By Order of
Galway City Council
Swimming in the open sea is an Irish tradition and they clearly relish this encounter with the primal element. On a windswept coast in Galway, precariously balanced on top of a diving platform, I found myself taking photographs. Apparently, people of all ages fearlessly jump off here into the waves far below. I spoke to a very friendly local man in his 40’s who told me that only two years ago he had broken ‘his fecking neck’ jumping off the platform. He seemed to have made a full recovery from the accident. Indeed, this was clearly a significant achievement in his life and a moment of considerable personal pride. I could only agree, mission accomplished… I was ‘fecking’ impressed.