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FUTURES Irish Talents 2020

By 27/03/2020June 23rd, 2020Futures Photography, News, PhotoIreland
Image: Garry Loughlin, from The Clearing House

The 5 Irish artists selected to join the platform in 2020 are Becks Butler, Garry Loughlin, Mark McGuinness, Shia Conlon, and Vera Ryklova. They will travel to Unseen Amsterdam, 18-20 September, to join the platform’s activities, to present their work to international professionals, and to network, amongst other opportunities that will be developed for them. In addition, their work will be exhibited in Dublin at Rathfarnham Castle – not in May as planned, due to the current emergency, but later in the year at a date to be announced.

Let’s find out more about each of the artists.


About the Artists

Becks Butler

Becks Butler has a career in commercial and contemporary photography as well as a visual arts curatorial practice. She exhibited her solo show Pushing Boundaries at illuminations in 2017 and has presented work in group shows at Pallas Projects, RIA, The Complex and The Library Project. Her collections have been purchased by the Royal Irish Academy and private collectors. Becks has collaborated on projects with IMMA and Oonagh Young Gallery and was awarded the M11 Percent for Art Commission in 2019 amongst other awards including the Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She most recently collaborated with PhotoIreland’s Critical Academy to bring Performing the Post-human: Subject in Photography to the Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland 2019 and is a current member of Pivot critical form at The Lab Gallery. Within her commercial practice, Becks has worked on shoots and design projects for clients such as REPEAL Campaign and Style Club and her editorials have been published by The Guardian Uk, Quartz NYC and The Irish Times.

Garry Loughlin

Garry Loughlin is a photographer born and raised in Ireland, but is currently living and working in Bristol, UK. He is a recent graduate from the MA Documentary program at University of South Wales. His first book Between Spaces was published in 2014. A farewell to Arms, which documents the closure of a military barracks in the Irish midlands, was published in 2016. Garry has exhibited in a number of exhibitions throughout Ireland, Europe and the UK. Most recently, he had a solo show of his latest body of work The Clearing House in Test Space at Spike Island, Bristol.

Mark McGuinness

Mark McGuinness is a photographer from Dublin, Ireland. After working as a freelance commercial assistant, Mark began working as a production assistant for Magnum photographer, Jacob Aue Sobol. Soon after that he began focusing on long term personal projects. His first work Dreaming of Figure Eights saw him return to South Lebanon to explore the effect of power and influence on both the landscape and psyche of the population. The work was selected for the Kassel Dummy award 2017 and was exhibited both in Ireland and abroad. In 2017 he was selected to represent PhotoIreland as part of Parallel – European Photo Based Platform, the body of work which was produced through the program, Byzantium, was exhibited at a number of photo festivals throughout Europe. In 2018 he was nominated for the World Press Photo Joop Swart masterclass.

Mark is currently working on a number of personal projects and in 2018 started a MA in photography at Aalto University School of Arts, Design, and Architecture in Helsinki. His ongoing research is focused on 19th century colonial activities in Ireland, particularly the mapping of Ireland, and the effects these activities had on Irish cultural identity and representation.

Shia Conlon

Shia Conlon is an artist working with photo, film, text, and sculpture. Much of their work has been centered around marginalised voices and about growing up in the landscape of working class Catholic Ireland. Their work has been exhibited in London, New York, Dublin, Helsinki, and Montreal amongst others. Their work has been written about in The New York Times, i-D, Dazed and Confused, and Huffington Post UK and US. They work between Tipperary and Helsinki. They are assistant to Elina Brotherus.

Vera Ryklova

In her practice, Ryklova explores both the social construction of the self and the self-concept. Through the medium her own body and using her own – subjective – experience in engaging existing society she mirrors its norms as they define a single life. Originally from the Czech Republic, Ryklova was brought to Republic of Ireland on a journey of personal discovery and since 2007 she has been living and working there.

Ryklova presented her first solo exhibition in 2018 at Triskel Arts Centre in Cork. She has two upcoming solo exhibitions, Belfast (NI/UK) and Westport in 2020. Her activities are also engaged in curatorial practice. After her own graduation she began exploring the idea of collaboration with recently graduated students from art collages aiming to introduce their practices to contemporary art scene and she organised and curated two photography group exhibitions in Dublin, in 2015 and 2017.

PhotoIreland and Futures

Since 2017, PhotoIreland is the Irish member of the European Platform of Photography Futures, alongside 11 other partner organisations. Futures organises a series of events across Europe within each of its member countries. The aim of the platform is to pool the resources and talent programmes of leading photography institutions across Europe in order to increase the capacity, mobility and visibility of its selected artists. All participant members of the platform put forward every year 5 artists to be promoted nationally, and that alongside all the other selected artists gather at the main Futures event at Unseen Amsterdam. It is there where they enjoy a series of professional development events conceived to further their careers and promote their work. The artists are also promoted online, in print, participate in awards, and enjoy a profile page on the Futures website. You can visit these at

Aside from the 5 artists announced above, PhotoIreland has put forward already 10 artists: Dorje de Burgh, Megan Doherty, Jamin Keogh, Aisling McCoy, Yvette Monahan, Miriam O’ Connor, Ciaran Óg Arnold, George Voronov, Róisín White, and Barry W Hughes.

Futures Photography Platform is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, and PhotoIreland is the Irish partner of the platform.

The current members of the platform are British Journal of Photography (UK), CAMERA (IT), Hyères Festival (FR), FOMU (BE), Fotofestiwal Lodz (PL), PHotoESPAÑA (ES), PhotoIreland (IR), Photo Romania Festival (RO), Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre (HU), The Calvert Journal (UKR), and Triennial of Photography Hamburg (DE). Futures is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


Find out more about Futures Photography at