Mark Curran: Southern Cross

  March –
April 2002

Image from Mark Curran’s exhibition ‘Southern Cross’ at the Gallery of Photography 2002

This exhibition marks the culmination of Irish artist Mark Curran‘s long-term documentary portrait of contemporary Ireland. It comprises two series, prospect and site. In site Curran focuses on the new landscape of motorways and by-passes capturing both the majesty and the uncertainty of Ireland’s rapid development. The exhibition provides a timely opportunity for reflection on a pivotal period in Ireland’s history.

Image from Mark Curran's exhibition 'Southern Cross' at the Gallery of Photography 2002

Image from Mark Curran’s exhibition ‘Southern Cross’ at the Gallery of Photography 2002

Alongside his landscapes, Curran also presents portraits of construction workers which dramatically convey the dignity of manual labour at a time when it is set to become a thing of the past. These images intersect with works from the prospect series, which concentrates on the Brave New World of the IFSC, Ireland’s financial district.

Brought together under the multi-layered title, Southern Cross, the works combine both aesthetic and documentary impulses in a new mapping of social geography. The images are precise, lucid, factual. They are also deeply – and strangely – beautiful.

Image from Mark Curran's exhibition 'Southern Cross' at the Gallery of Photography 2002

Image from Mark Curran’s exhibition ‘Southern Cross’ at the Gallery of Photography 2002

A full-colour publication titled Southern Cross accompanies the exhibition. It includes a selection of images from both series, an essay by Justin Carville, lecturer in Historical and Theoretical Studies in Photography and poem by the writer and poet, Philip Casey.

About the Artist:  Mark Curran received a diploma in Photography from Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art Design & Technology in 2001. He was awarded the Gallery of Photography Development bursary in 2000 and subsequently shortlisted for the first AIB Prize, a major annual award for emerging visual artists. He is represented by Büro Für Fotos, Cologne.

With thanks to: Eric Fleming and SIPTU; the workers of rohcon, ascon and the IFSC; Alan Dooley, Ronan Hogan, Mick O’Connell; Justin Carville, Philip Casey, David Farrell, Bro McCarthy, Ken Curran, staff of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology.

Article from the Sunday Tribune, 17 March 2002

Article from the Sunday Tribune, 17 March 2002