The 5 Irish artists selected to join the platform in 2021 are Aoife Herrity, Audrey Gillespie, Clare Lyons, Jialin Long, and Mark Duffy. 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.

Aoife Herrity is an Irish photographic artist and writer based in Dublin. She holds an MFA in Photography from the Belfast School of Art at Ulster University. Her ongoing graduate series Sleeping Dogs Lie was selected as a PhotoIreland TLP Editions publication and was published in 2020. Herrity is a guest lecturer at IADT Dun Laoghaire and has led workshops at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin. Herrity’s work has been shown at a number of exhibitions in Ireland and is held in public collections with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Office of Public Works. Private collections are held in Ireland, Canada and the USA.

Herrity’s current area of interest relates to the wider subject of childhood sexual abuse, specifically trauma responses, implicit memory and the grooming process. Much of this work is brought about by research into literature, personal histories and psychology theory. Herrity works with photography, the written word and archival material as a means to unpack and examine these complex histories. Exploring these themes through critical writing is also central to Herrity’s practice.

Audrey Gillespie is a an Irish fine artist from Derry, Northern Ireland. Currently residing in Belfast where she graduated with a Fine Arts BA degree at Ulster University, Belfast School of Art in 2020. Her media include analogue photography, painting and printmaking. Gillespie’s themes explore queerness, mortality and conflict with youth and anxiety through her current ongoing series titled This Hurts recently exhibited at the Mac, Belfast, 2020.

Clare Lyons is a visual artist and photographer working between Dublin and Belfast. Clare’s practice finds its concern in the tactile nature of the photographic image. Emphasising the materiality of the photograph, she often explores themes of memory, trauma and her personal struggles with mental illness. Her research includes topics such as emotional trauma and the resulting repression and suppression of memory, and more recently the significance in revisiting the family archive in establishing one’s sense of self in the face of such experiences. Visually, she typically takes the photographic image away from its original form in an attempt to tease out these difficult topics.

Clare is a 2019-2020 recipient of the Universities Ireland North/South Postgraduate Scholarship, and since 2021 has been a studio artist at the Emerging Artist Hub in Flax Art Studios, Belfast. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Photography at Belfast School of Art in Ulster University.

Jialin Long is a lens-based artist, born in Beijing, China and based outside Dublin, Ireland. Her photographic practice focuses on issues in contemporary culture, uses new presentations strategies to explore social and political issues in an attempt to formulate alternative statements and positions.

In 2020 she graduated with a first-class honours degree in photography from the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), winning many awards with her graduation project Red Illuminates, which has been exhibited within, and published by, many photography institutions throughout Ireland, Europe, the UK, and Canada.

Long holds an ME in Electronic Engineering and previously worked as an engineer before turning her interest to photography. These experiences influenced her view on understanding the world. She sees the world logic and abstract simultaneously, which formed the base of her visual practice. Long is currently working on a commission for Dublin City Council around the theme of diversity, challenging stereotyped views of the Chinese community in Ireland, and was named in The Irish Times’ 50 people to watch in 2021: The best young talent in Ireland.

Mark Duffy is an Irish artist based in the UK. Duffy’s artworks explore issues of politics, power and media in the public sphere. His recent ongoing work documents the aftermath of the UK’s fractious Brexit referendum, framing these themes with absurdity and humour. Duffy formerly worked as photographer for the Houses of Parliament (2015-2019) during which his photojournalism characterised many memorable front pages.

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 13 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 futures-photography.com/artists

Aside from the 5 artists announced above, PhotoIreland has put forward 15 artists in previous years, selected through direct invitation and an open call: Aisling McCoy, Barry W Hughes, Becks Butler, Ciaran Óg Arnold, Dorje de Burgh, Garry Loughlin, George Voronov, Jamin Keogh, Mark McGuinness, Megan Doherty, Miriam O’ Connor, Róisín White, Shia Conlon, Vera Ryklova, and Yvette Monahan.

The current members of the platform are British Journal of Photography (UK), CAMERA (IT), Copenhagen Photo Festival (DK), FOMU (BE), Fotofestiwal Lodz (PL), Hyères Festival (FR), PHotoESPAÑA (ES), PhotoIreland (IR), Photo Romania Festival (RO), Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Centre (HU), Tbilisi Photo Festival (GE), The Calvert Journal (UKR), 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 futures-photography.com