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FUTURES: Announcing Irish Talents 2024

By 03/03/2024March 4th, 2024Futures Photography, News, PhotoIreland
Sarah Navan Care in Progress

Featured Image by Sarah Navan

PhotoIreland announces the 5 Irish artists selected to join the FUTURES Photography Platform in 2024. They are: Berta Mars, Chris Finnegan, Debbie Castro, Leon Nevill Gallagher, and Sarah Navan. The five artists were selected from a high number of submissions, the largest and broadest to date, which underlines artists’ appreciation of FUTURES as a substantial career development opportunity.

In selecting artists for opportunities such as New Irish Works, RADAR, RELAY and FUTURES, PhotoIreland believes it is important to employ a variety of approaches that ensures transparent and informed decisions, expanding the team’s knowledge of the discipline with that of other art professionals from Ireland and abroad. For their contribution to the process, we are very thankful to the invited jury Sarah McAuliffe, Curator, Royal Hibernian Academy, and Adrian O’Carroll, Photographer.

In joining the platform, now in its 7th year, the artists not only enter a growing list of talent from across Europe, but also benefit from a growing range of opportunities supported by Creative Europe and the 18 platform members planned throughout the present year, culminating in an annual networking event at the Organ Vida International Photography Festival. You can discover more about each artist in the introduction texts below.

Find out more about Futures Photography at 

Berta Mars is a photographer from Barcelona based in Dublin. Her practice is a mix of Portraiture, Documentary and Fine Art Photography, and often explores topics that involve human relationships to capture the essence of people and places from an intimate perspective. 

Berta graduated from Advanced Vocational Training on TV and Media Communications in her hometown. In Dublin, she enrolled in Griffith College where she graduated in 2023 from a BA (Hons) in Photography. During her final year, she produced The Loudest Silence as her graduate project, with which she was shortlisted on the RDS Visual Media Awards and selected to be part of the RADAR programme run by PhotoIreland. 

Berta’s work has also been part of the annual print fair Halftone in the Library Project several times.

Images from The Loudest Silence

Chris Finnegan is a visual artist and arts educator from Cork who works primarily through photography. His work explores everyday occurrences, mundane objects and events.

Recently moved back to Ireland after a decade in the UK, his current practice centres on the home and suburbia; critically interrogating ideas of home-making, childhood and the domestic sublime. He regularly collaborates with his young sons.

He has exhibited work extensively in Ireland, the UK and internationally, including; the 192nd RHA Annual Exhibition, Institute of Photography Penryn, GoMA Glasgow, Fringe Arts Bath, the LA Centre for Digital Arts. Solo exhibitions include Someone Else’s Somewhere at the Mills Centre, London in 2015 and House Rules at 6 Central Avenue in 2022. In 2023 his photographic series House Rules was published by PhotoIreland as a TLP Edition. He is a recipient of the Agility Award 2023 from the Arts Council Ireland. He holds a BA Fine Art from TUD, Dublin and has recently completed a Masters in Photography with Falmouth University.

Images from The Grammar of Home

Debbie Castro, an Irish Conceptual Documentary Artist currently based in London, UK, seamlessly intertwines photography, poetry, and moving image in her artistic practice. Positive, reliable, motivated working both in a team and individually. Enjoys building a community, organising and problem solving. Calm but passionate with excellent management skills working towards a budget. Educator with a Degree in Psychology and a MA in Photographic Arts. Freelance Co-ordinator and teacher for London Institute of Photography, curating and executing exhibitions.

Images from Age is a privilege, unless you forget!

Leon is a contemporary Irish lens-based artist, living in Berlin. His practice lies in conceptualising the space between people and communicative technology, creating documents reflecting on the emotional and physical shift occurring as the surface of our communicational needs reposition themselves. Leon refers to his work as a hybrid ‘documentary’ form, drawing from fact and fiction to realise a reality that exists in-between.

Images from Cargo

Sarah Navan is a Photographic Artist living in Co. Clare. Sarah graduated her BA in Photographic Media from Griffith College Dublin in 2022.

Sarah is in receipt of the inaugural RADAR Research and Development Artist residency, having been selected by Inspirational Arts and PhotoIreland from nominations by eleven Photography programmes across Ireland. Her project Care in Progress has been longlisted for the RDS Visual Arts Award 2022 and was awarded the Agility award from the Arts Council in 2023.

Images from Care in Progress

PhotoIreland and Futures

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

Since 2017, PhotoIreland is the Irish member of the European Platform of Photography Futures, alongside 17 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 annual Futures event — previously held at Unseen Amsterdam and in an online festival RESET last year. 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 30 artists in previous years, selected through direct invitation and an open call: Aindreas Scholz, Aisling McCoy, Aoife Herrity, Audrey Gillespie, Barry W Hughes, Becks Butler, Cian Burke, Ciaran Óg Arnold, Clare Lyons, Dorje de Burgh, Emilia Rigaud, Emma O’Brien, Garry Loughlin, George Voronov, Jamin Keogh, Jialin Long, Mark Duffy, Mark McGuinness, Megan Doherty, Miriam O’ Connor, Niamh Barry, Patrick O’Byrne, Pauline Rowan, Phelim Hoey, Róisín White, Ronan McCall, Ryan Allen, Shia Conlon, Vera Ryklova, and Yvette Monahan.

The current members of the platform are CAMERA (IT), Centre Photographique Rouen Normandie (FR), Ci.CLO (PT), Copenhagen Photo Festival (DK), Der Greif (DE), FOMU (BE), FOTODOK (NL), Fotogalleriet (NO), Fotofestiwal Lodz (PL), Fotograf 07 (CZ), ISSP (LV), Organ Vida (CR), PHotoESPAÑA (ES), PhotoIreland (IR), Photo Romania Festival (RO), Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre (HU), Triennial of Photography Hamburg (DE), and Void (GR).

Futures is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Find out more about Futures Photography at