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FUTURES Extends to 2024: Announcing Irish Talents 2022

By 06/06/2022December 15th, 2022Futures Photography, News

We can finally share the news that FUTURES Photography Platform has been granted Creative Europe funding to extend its programme until 2024. FUTURES has strengthened its position as the European Photography Platform with a programme devoted to the development, promotion and empowering of emerging European talents, thanks to synergies and collaborations among its members and partners. In the coming years, FUTURES will launch and promote a series of activities aimed at driving innovation, inclusivity and sustainability.

With the programme back in full swing, we will continue our role as the Irish member of the platform, with the opportunity to nominate every year five contemporary photographers practicing in Ireland.

Therefore, we are delighted to announce that the 5 Irish artists selected to join the platform in 2022 are Cian Burke, Ronan McCall, Emma O’Brien, Patrick O’Byrne and Pauline Rowan. They will join the platform’s activities to present their work to international professionals and to network, amongst other opportunities that will be developed for them, including exhibitions, publishing opportunities, portfolio reviews, and more. Discover below more about each artist.

Find out more about Futures Photography at 

Cian Burke is an artist originally from Dublin, based in Sweden. Working primarily with photography, installation and text, his work sits at the intersection of documentary and the mannerisms of staged photography — where the notion of truth is up for negotiation. His practice is driven by a fascination in the role imagination plays in both art and various scientific systems of collecting and categorising, exploring ways in which both can be used for the production of knowledge as well as systems for the visualisation of certain perceived ‘truths’. 

In 2019 he was selected for the 3rd cycle of the Parallel Photography Platform during which he developed his most recent body of work, exhibited since at Landskrona Photo Festival and Studio44, Stockholm. He has exhibited in Ireland, UK, Norway, Spain and Hungary.

In 2016 he self-published Terrestrial Excursions. His work was included in the Art & Theory publication (YPN Sweden). Recent awards include the Theodor & Hanne Mannheimer’s fund and a working grant from the Swedish Arts Council. Burke is based in Malmö, where he is the artistic director of Galleri Format. He holds a BA from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA from Valand Academy in Gothenburg.

Emma O’Brien is a lens-based artist from Westmeath, her practice is concerned with themes of Mothering, family, childhood and home. In her current project The Holding Place she interrogates her role as mother, worker, and artist. Her work recognises and amplifies the notion that a mothers lived experience is a valid area of artistic inquiry. She aims to continue exploring the changing roles and cultural expectations placed on mothers through the 20th and 21st Century in future work. 

Emma has a degree in Photographic Media from Griffith College, Dublin and is a member of Work Show Grow Photography School and Refktor Platform. Recent achievements include publication of her current project as a TLP edition by PhotoIreland, selected as an emerging talent in Europe by FreshEyes and GUP magazine,  this includes publication in the book FreshEyes 2021. The work has been exhibited in Group shows at FreshEyes Exhibition, Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2021, PhEST, See Beyond The Sea, International Festival of Photography, Monopoli, Italy, 2021 and Format International Photography Festival, Derby UK 2021. Emma is a Recipient of The Professional Development Award 2020, Arts Council of Ireland and The Agility Award 2021, by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Patrick O’Byrne is a visual artist and writer from Tallaght, Dublin currently based in Berlin, Germany. He recently acquired his BA in Photography at the Institute of Art and Design, Dun Laoghaire. His work focuses on the familial and the themes which inhabit it, finding himself drawn to the distinctions and collaborations between people and place. His relationship to photography finds itself inhabited within time and memory, using it as a device to explore the past in some attempt to reconcile with his own self-identity.

Pauline Rowan received a distinction for her MFA in Photography from Ulster University in 2019. Since graduating Rowan has been invited by Paul Seawright and Peter Richards to exhibit in Dissolving Histories – New Narratives, Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast. Rowan was awarded an Arts Council of Ireland Bursary in both 2020 and 2021. She lives in Dublin, Ireland. 

Rowan explores sanctuary, as well as home, through landscapes, settlements and our underpinned relationships with belonging and abandonment. With a background in Fine Art and Film, her predominately lens based works incorporate documentary as well as collaborative and performative elements. Rowan is interested in layers of history in place, family and society, systems of defensive and offensive tactics used upon land, home and ritual.

Ronan McCall

Ronan McCall is an Irish photographer from Dublin. He currently lives on Inis Oírr on the Aran Islands. From there, he is remotely working on multiple photography projects, where he engages with the photographic and print processes in their entirety with a home-built colour and black & white darkroom. He has undertaken several documentary projects, one of which received an award from his BA in Dublin. Previous to this he won the internationally recognised British Design and Advertising Award in 2007 – both in student of the year and overall photography categories. He owned and curated his own gallery in Dublin, Severed Head, for several years showing international artists such Esther Teichmann, Noemi Goudal and Dallas Seitz.

In 2013 he moved to New York and pursued a successful career in fashion advertising as a lighting specialist. His clients include brands like Dior, Louis Vuitton,  Off White, Dazed, Another magazine, Fendi, Self Service magazine, Marni, Balenciaga, The New Yorker, Stella McCartney, Wall Street Journal, New York Times.

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 20 artists in previous years, selected through direct invitation and an open call: Aisling McCoy, Aoife Herrity, Audrey Gillespie, Barry W Hughes, Becks Butler, Ciaran Óg Arnold, Clare Lyons, Dorje de Burgh, Garry Loughlin, George Voronov, Jamin Keogh, Jialin Long, Mark Duffy, Mark McGuinness, Megan Doherty, Miriam O’ Connor, Róisín White, 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