ENGAGE is a new collaboration between Belfast Exposed Futures programme and Gallery of Photography. It highlights both organisations’ sustained support for photographic artists living and working across the island of Ireland. The work by the seven selected artists reflects the vitality of the Irish contemporary photography scene. Each distinctive body of work is the result of a long term, sustained process of engagement by the artist with their chosen themes.
– Aisling McCoy’s ‘THF’ is a timely study of the Nazi-designed Tempelhof airport in Berlin, now used among other things as a refugee centre. The work is a meditation on this space, both physical and psychological – somewhere between arrival and departure.
– Alberto Maserin’s Interferences series is a thoughtful observation of the uncomfortable relationship between a US military installation and its sylvan Italian surroundings.
– Andrew Rankin’s Close to You explores the breathless world of celebrity fixation in a compelling interpretation of internet-fuelled fantasies of intimacy.
– Denis O’Shea’s Things Found in Books reveals strange synchronicities between bookmarks inadvertently left in library books. Like chanced-upon ‘readymades’ O’Shea’s images explore the mysterious interplay between private and public spaces.
– Jan McCullough – Home Instruction Manual charts the artist’s complete compliance with home-making advice given by self-styled experts she encountered in Internet chatrooms. With wry humour, this performative work questions the notion of the perfect home.
Located between photography and land art, Jill Quigley’s Rural Fluorescent is a playful, postmodern reflection on the use of high-vis materials in rural Ireland.
Ruby Wallis draws on Lauren Elkin’s re-evaluation of women as wanderers. In Contact II Wallis spent a period of time walking with her mother. Her quietly compelling images focus on tactile qualities in an attempt to reach beyond the limits of the visual.
Belfast Exposed Futures is an initiative dedicated to supporting new photographic talent in Ireland through solo exhibitions, residencies, mentorship and international opportunities. The programme actively supports the development and presentation of new work by six artists a year in a series of solo shows. With special thanks to Tracy Marshall and Hannah Watson and all at Belfast Exposed. http://www.belfastexposed.org