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NCAD Photography and Digital Imaging Exhibition
The Certificate in Photography and Digital Imaging (PDI) is a one-year part-time course at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). The course covers both analogue and digital photography and focuses on developing the creative practice of the participants by means of a series of photographic projects. This exhibition showcases the work of the 2011 graduates. The work on show covers a broad variety of approaches to the photographic medium: this includes digital images, analogue darkroom prints, Polaroid prints, wood prints and collage. It touches on genres such as portraiture, landscape and street photography, but often takes these genres in unexpected directions. Thematically, the subject matter represents a diverse range of contemporary topics, including memory & loss, urban change, social identity, the built environment, fantasy and reality, and political & economic decline. With work by Gerry Blake, Mary D’Arcy, Klaudia Drulis, Alan Holland, James Keating, Barry Kennedy, Serena Kitt, Catherine Lennon, James Lillis, Margaret Loddick, Leon McAleenan, Ashling McCoy, Alison McDonnell, David Murphy, Kelly O’Brien, Andrew O’Dwyer and Nicola Whelan.
Curators: Gerry Blake and James Lillis


Opening: 6pm to 8pm 30th June
Dates: 1-3 July
Opening hours:
Fri & Sat 10-5pm
Sun 2-4 pm

National College of Art and Design
Thomas Street
Dublin 8

Location Map

About the participating photographers

The staged photograph is a key strategy in contemporary photography and several contributors utilise this approach. Mary d’Arcy’s work uses the female body to produce more imaginative and unconventional representations of real women in a challenge to the norm of purely ‘ornamental’ representations in the media and advertising. James Lillis has photographed his subjects’ faces in close-up and uses his ‘Sides’ show to examine if a symmetrical face really is desirable. Klaudia Drulis’s multi-panel work suggests the magic realism that exists between reality and fiction.

A number of other contributors have chosen to explore the genre of portraiture. Gerry Blake’s work consists of a series of environmental portraits of people in liminal, or in-between, spaces that reflect their transition from one stage of life to the next. Catherine Lennon’s photographs document youth boxing to demonstrate how dedicated to their sport these particular young people are. David Murphy’s project is a series of portraits that allows us to see into the hidden world that is “Body Art.” Kelly O’Brien presents a series of self-portraits examining nostalgia and personal fears. Barry Kennedy creates a self-portrait from images frozen in ice to signify a sort of permanent preservation.

Other photographers have dealt with environmental, social and civil rights issues through their work. Alison McDonnell’s project depicts Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and families, highlighting the rights denied to LGBT parents and their children, while Serena Kitt explores the level of waste and the degradation of rain forests in a surprising manner by incorporating material samples of her subject into her finished work. James Keating has made a study of the Marian statues that remain a fixture of the Liberties area of Dublin despite being compromised by vandalism and contemporary cultural artifacts. Margaret Loddick’s work satirically explores the post-boom Ireland of today through the juxtaposition of a number of images in one large-scale photomontage.

Urban streets, rural roads, seascapes and landscapes are explored in some interesting and diverse ways. Aisling McCoy’s project ‘Colliderscape’ looks at the multiplicity and simultaneity of the urban environment in a way that challenges our everyday process of seeing, while ‘Quare Places’ is a collection of images representing Alan Holland’s journeys around Ireland. His work is an amalgamation of weird and wonderful images of places that have stories to tell. Andrew O’Dwyer’s views of Cork city at night look at how its residents see their city and how they let themselves be seen.

Finally the mysteries of the landscape are explored for what it reveals of personal memory and loss. Nicola Whelan’s work develops the notion of the photograph as a trigger for both voluntary and involuntary memory and the temporality inherent within the photograph as a means of coping with grief.Leon McAleenan’s series of pictures reflect on the continuum of life and death. He focuses on the coast where the rotation of the tide offers a perfect metaphor for the continual life/death cycle, and the where period for directly before, during and after a storm offer the greatest opportunity an emotional response to such considerations.

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