A Growing Team

PhotoIreland’s team is rapidly growing with four new members joining in 2021: two full-time, a part-time, and a temporary position. The new members are Ashleigh Wilson, Arts Administrator and Researcher; Mark McGuinness who contributed to updating the PhotoIreland Collection catalogue thanks to Arts Council grant aid; Rita Hynes, who became The Library Project Manager; and Sarah Usher, part-time assistant at The Library Project.

The team will continue growing in 2022, with a current vacancy open for a part-time digital assistant position with further positions to be announced.

TLP Editions

A total of 11 publications were added to the TLP Editions set, featuring work by Aarif Amod, Alec Moore, Daniel Breen, Emma O’Brien, Frank Miller, Glorija Lizde, Martina Cleary, Shane Hynan, Zoe Hamill, and two by Caitriona Dunnett. In addition, four new publications were added this month, with works by Ellie Berry, Wally Cassidy, Sarah Panell, and Julia Mejnertsen. A new box set was released to offer the full set of 56 TLP Editions together, ideal for libraries and public/private collections. Such a refreshing selection of practices!

You can browse the whole series online at The Library Project, while a new format will be introduced in 2022 to provide further opportunities for artists. 

Hertta Kiiski, Milky Way
Bite the Hand that Feeds You – PhotoIreland Festival 2021

PhotoIreland Festival, the first and longest running photography festival in Ireland, celebrated its 12th edition with an ambitious programme that included a cooking channel titled Critical Recipes. The artists presented included Alan Phelan, Ana Núñez Rodríguez, April Gertler, Bryony Dunne, Dániel Szalai, Deirdre O’Mahony, Fiona Hallinan, Gê Viana, Greta Alfaro, Hans van der Meer, Hertta Kiiski, Jennie Moran, Jennifer Mehigan, Kevin Gaffney, Ksenia Yurkova, Lana May Fleming, Mary Lelo Thebe, Mathieu Asselin, Róisín White, Sheng-Wen Lo, The Center for Genomic Gastronomy, Vicki Thornton, and Viktoria Schmid. You can enjoy the talks and commissioned works on PhotoIreland’s channel. A publication gathering the ideas investigated by the festival will be available in Spring 2022.

You can enjoy the first CRITICAL RECIPES in glorious 4k on PhotoIreland’s channel. The piece was directed and written by Jennie Moran, featuring dance artist Aoibhinn O’Dea, and camera and editing by Cian Brennan. It was produced by PhotoIreland Festival in the context of PhotoIreland Festival 2021 ‘Bite The Hand That Feeds You’ as part of the CRITICAL RECIPES channel series.

“PhotoIreland Festival is a critically important mediator for new photography practices and a large core audience. The programme’s accessibility, diversity, dissemination, and resourcefulness are key strengths.”
The Arts Council of Ireland

The festival was kindly supported by the Arts Council, AEMI, Alliance Française Dublin, Dublin City Council, OPW, RTE Supporting the Arts, Mondriaan Fund, Frame Finland, Aesthetica Magazine, GUP, and Inspirational Arts.


OVER Journal issue 2

The Critical Journal of Photography and Visual Culture for the 21st century continues its wholesome conversation around the discipline with the second issue. Having received support by the Arts Council, the second issue demonstrates our design and publishing expertise. On one hand, it provides readers with a rewarding tactile and visual experience: two of the best paper stocks are employed to make the most of the essay and of the portfolio sections, with an embossed pattern on the cover that adds a subtle texture. On the other hand, the issue presents 256 pages of content, looking at a variety of subjects, from labour in the Arts to how visual and popular culture affects representation, and to selected practices from international artists.

The featured artists include Hoda Afshar, Lewis Bush, Jean Curran, Irene Antonia Diane Reece, Audrey Gillespie, Kelvin Haizel, Iris Hassid, Federica Landi, Roberto Tondopó, Bindi Vora. The featured writers are Julie Chun, Anna Ehrenstein, Orla Fitzpatrick, Yvette Hamilton, Aidan Kelly Murphy, Camille Lévêque, Dónal Talbot, Sue Rainsford, Rashi Rajguru, Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh, Duncan Wooldridge. The cover image is by Jean Curran, from The Vertigo Project, and our politically engaged back cover image is by Rafał Milach and the Archiwum Protestow Publicznych.

The journal has continued its global distribution through many of the greatest bookshops on the planet, and through services like Stack magazines. Finding such alternative routes to market has been at the core of our strategy, as we want to reach readers that may not usually engage with Photography. It is refreshing to see it on Instagram popping-up in all corners of the earth!

The reception of the second issue has been great, picking up from issue 1, with feedback being received by readers and sellers. For example, when visiting Amsterdam for Unseen last September, we discovered issue 2 on display at Athenaeum Bookshop, and we spoke with the super nice staff. They mentioned the were aware of issue 1 and they really enjoyed it, so they were delighted to stock issue 2 – greatly surprised by the improved printing quality. It feels great to know that the interest in the content was there from issue one and that they can appreciate the effort we placed on making issue 2 our new standard!

The journal has been present in fairs such as Unseen, the Dublin Art Book Fair, and Photobook Week Aarhus.

We have continued our work on OVER Journal’s online platform, experimenting and shifting ideas, and we hope to make it a reality in Spring 2022.

HALFTONE Print Fair

The 7th edition of Dublin’s fresh new print fair raised €8980 for artists through sales in 2021 – a total of €50000 to date-, presenting 200 works from over 85 contemporary artists at The Library Project. HALFTONE has become a great event to discover new works by local artists, many of which are bought for public and private collections. It was great to see that, even during the tough conditions set by the pandemic in 2021, artists kept working away, and new works were created.

New Irish Works 2022

PhotoIreland announced the 4th edition of New Irish Works, its unique artist support programme run since 2013 in 3-year cycles, generating a growing set of professional development opportunities for selected lens-based practitioners throughout the duration of each cycle. The call is open to Irish and Ireland-based artists and it seeks new work by artists at any stage of their career; PhotoIreland calls all photographers and artists critically engaged in image making, specifically those based in Ireland and those Irish artists developing their practice abroad, regardless of age and career stage, to submit their recent and ongoing projects to New Irish Works.

In 2022, Hahnemühle celebrates the 25th anniversary of its Digital FineArt Paper sponsoring New Irish Works. The partnership will provide digital FineArt paper and will contribute towards artists fees. PhotoIreland will be working with long-time partner printing studio Inspirational Arts, who have collaborated with PhotoIreland Festival for over a decade, to deliver the finest quality that is expected by contemporary artists. Inspirational Arts were, incidentally, the first printer in Ireland to become evaluated by Hahnemühle and appointed as a Certified Studio for digital fine art printing.

Hahnemühle, Inspirational Arts, and PhotoIreland, now that is quite something!


PARALLEL Photography Platform

As part of the PARALLEL Review 2021, Parallel presented an outdoor exhibition in Lisbon titled Extended Atlas, curated by Sandra Vieira Jürgens, running 9 September-31 October. It featured Irish artists Cian Burke and Mark McGuinness. The event was accompanied by a series of talks curated by Mafalda Duarte Barrela and workshops with Tira-Olhos. Find out more at parallelplatform.org

Parallel Platform is one of two Photographic Platforms PhotoIreland is member of, being the only Irish representative in both cases. Parallel Platform is designed and led by Procur.arte and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

FUTURES 2021FUTURES Photography Platform

Each year, the FUTURES members nominate a number of artists to join the platform. By bringing together a wealth of resources and curatorial expertise, each talent selected by the members gains access to an unprecedented network of professionals, markets and audiences. The platform aims to stimulate the photographic economy from the bottom up by expanding the market. These members are prominent institutions operating in the field and have a great impact and influence in the world of photography, with PhotoIreland one of the founding members.

In 2021, PhotoIreland proposed five Irish and Ireland-based artistsAoife HerrityAudrey GillespieClare LyonsJialin Longand Mark Duffy. The artists joined the rest of the 2021 Futures artists in a showcase, a publication, events such as direct curatorial support, panel talks, and other networking events and opportunities at the annual event for contemporary photography HYBRIDS in Amsterdam last September. Their names have joined an extensive repository that already includes previous years’ artists: Aisling McCoy, Barry W Hughes, Becks Butler, Ciarán Óg Arnold, Dorje de Burgh, Garry Loughlin, George Voronov, Jamin Keogh, Mark McGuinness, Megan Doherty, Miriam O’Connor, Róisín White, Shia Conlon, Yvette Monahan, and Vera Ryklova, who you can find out more about at futures-photography.com

The FUTURES exhibition was installed at The Library Project and run from the 7–24 October.

Other Collaborations and Services

TU Dublin Students Jana Bulochova and Lauren Hamilton

Not all our work is public facing, as on many occasions we are hired as consultants or work in collaboration to provide organisations and individuals with a better understanding of the sector. We are able to provide creative solutions that are grounded on our expertise on contemporary practices and are ethically sound, as we act as impartial and fair agents of the discipline.

Every year since 2016, third year students from TU Dublin’s BA Photography programme have completed a 5-credit internship module called ‘Archiving in Context’ at The Library Project, engaging with the PhotoIreland Collection comprising over 4000 photobooks. The module was developed in collaboration with Ann Curran, Programme Chair,  School of Media DIT Grangegorman, and to date it has given the opportunity to seven students to learn about archiving data in a consistent and critical manner, while having direct access to the latest photobooks as they arrive to the collection. This year, the students were Jana Bulochova and Lauren Hamilton, and we were very impressed with their professionalism and hunger for knowledge.

On a separate project, Dublin City Council approached us to act as consultants for one of their Diversity Commissions, run in collaboration with The Creative Ireland Programme and the Gallery of Photography. It was clear that there was a need for a better understanding of the sector from the outset, and we were happy to contribute with our work once we ensured that adequate standards were in place (artists fees, production costs, clear communications, etc).

In addition, Griffith College approached us to provide design and publishing support for the soon-to-be Photography graduates. We offered a solution for the end of the year show: an exhibition in a box, containing a publication by each of the artists and a selection of cards that could be used to create a pop-up exhibition anywhere. It was great to see how the guys at Gunns took it on board and used the box to create a new window display.

Other notes in brief:

  • We completed the Professional Development Programme for 3 participant artists and directly supported the practice of many others.
  • In collaboration with David Flood, we ran a number of peer-critique meetings under the name Bright Room Sessions. They proved to be quite interesting and we gained sound feedback about these; they will inform meetings planned for the future.
  • The Library Project hosted the exhibition On Belonging, curated by Diana Bamimeke for Basic Space, and two others by Black Church Print Studios: Fade to Black and Black Church: Editions.
  • Although hosted online, we joined again the Visual Artists Ireland Get Together Speed Curating supporting visual artists.
  • PhotoIreland participated in the Dublin Art Book Fair at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios presenting some of our latest TLP Editions and OVER Journal. They proved to be very popular!
  • PhotoIreland participated in the 20th anniversary Fotofestiwal Lodz, Encontros da Imagen Braga, PhotoEspaña, and in FotoFest Houston International Meeting Place 2021.

The Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland

Coming up in 2022

We really look forward to an amazing 2022 where we will go back to Dublin Castle for the second edition of the The Museum of Contemporary Photography of Ireland, first presented in 2019, an inviting public-facing project around the future of the museum. The venue will be host to our ambitious project On the History and Practice of Photography in Ireland, defining the practice with the openness and all-encompassing ethic that characterises PhotoIreland’s work.

But wait, there is more coming and you will find out in time! Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed.