PhotoIreland presents a new work in progress by Róisín White, Play House. This is the fifth exhibition in the New Irish Works series.
Play house [of child]: pretend to be an adult carrying out domestic stakes or activities. Bedroom, shed, treehouse, cardboard box, IKEA.
This work-in-progress exhibition looks at spaces of play, and aspirational games like playing house. Blending the imagination and fantasy of games and doll’s houses with the realities of the Irish rental and property market, I am reflecting on the ideas of adulthood that seemed a sure thing as a child of the Celtic Tiger.
“When I am 30 I will be a_______, and I will have a _______ and _______” etc.
“In 2008, my home economics teacher told us to let go of our “plans” or “timelines” for our future selves. She told us not to make assumptions about when we would find our partners, buy a house, or have children, and not have concrete ideas that could easily fall short. It wasn’t what we wanted to hear on the cusp of finishing secondary school, it felt deflating and pessimistic, but she was right.
For many “geriatric millennials” as we are now called, the moving goalposts of living in our own spaces along with a certain standard of living, feels like a breach of a social contract we signed up to in the boom times. I had my doll’s house, I played my practice games (however normative they now seem), and I had made assumptions about how I would be living by now, but I still have my childhood doll’s house, it is in our garden shed. My sibling’s doll’s house and Sylvanian family houseboat are in our attic. I will, of course, continue to build from the doll’s house up. Now and again I will return to playing The Sims, and by playing I mean creating lavish homes, and never participating in the game. Using the cheat codes to build that mansion with a pool that no one will ever live in. The building and designing process is definitely more fun than the mundane domestic tasks the Sims require.”
About the Artist
Róisín White is a visual artist based in Dublin, working primarily with photography, while incorporating drawing, sculpture, and collage into her practice. Róisín holds a BA (hons) in Photography from DIT, and certificates in Ceramics, Sculpture and Drawing from NCAD. Róisín White’s work draws from found objects, images, and archival materials, where she is interested in exploring lore and the fictional narrative that can be discovered in discarded imagery and objects. Storytelling and process are central parts of White’s practice. She is currently developing her photographic work into a more sculptural practice, using fabric, wood, resin, and furniture, all with a photographic root. She works with her hands, generally printing in the darkroom where possible, using sculpture and interventions in the gallery or the landscape as modes of experimentation and play within the project’s delivery or development.
White has exhibited her work in Ireland and across Europe, including the Finnish Museum of Photography, PhotoIreland Festival, and the Capa Centre. She was selected to represent PhotoIreland at Futures Photography platform, and was selected from an international open call to take part in Parallel European Photography Platform in 2018/9. Her project “Lay Her Down Upon Her Back” was selected for the third edition of New Irish Works in 2019, the Blow Photo Fuse Photobook Residency, and the Landskrona Photobook award, who will publish the book in late 2023.
About New Irish Works
The New Irish Works series brings contemporary photographic practices to The Library Project throughout 2023-24 with the support of Inspirational Arts and the Arts Council of Ireland. Alongside Róisín White, the artists selected for New Irish Works include Audrey Blue, Bryony Dunne, Jialin Long, Pauline Rowan, Martin Cregg, Martin Seeds, Cian Burke, Mark Duffy, and Shia Conlon.
New Irish Works is a triennial project run by PhotoIreland to represent and promote the growing diversity of contemporary photographic practices in Ireland. It enriches the Irish ecosystem with much needed new voices, new curatorial approaches, facilitate much deserved new opportunities, and invigorate the Irish photography scene.
This unique artist support programme is run since 2013 by PhotoIreland 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 every three years to Irish and Ireland-based artists at any stage of their career.
Throughout its history, New Irish Works has exhibited and showcased nationally across Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, and internationally from Paris, Amsterdam to Madrid, Ukraine, and beyond; it published and distributed a book featuring 25 artists in 2013, and a collection of 20 solo publications in 2016. The publications have sold worldwide and are now part of many private and public collections, including key cultural organisations such as the Hasselblad Foundation Library and the Centre Culturel Irlandais.