Thursday, 21 May 2015

I Stand With so Much Behind Me Still Looking Out on the World

With the completion and publishing of the book ‘On Leaving’ a chapter has closed and I am delighted with the way that the act of publishing this volume has ‘book-ended’ this process in a way that punctuates my activities and my involvement in the issues surrounding modern day movement of people from my community.I now go forward with the accumulated knowledge that this process has brought to me as I immersed myself, absorbed in the pursuit of a finding a way of presenting a picture of this time and subject to you the readers of this blog, and indeed, to the greater public via the volume’ On Leaving’.

It would be true to say that my intention to start this project was not to  produce this volume. It would also  be true to say  that I did not envisage spending almost five years working solely  in this area, but this has proven to be then case! It would be truer to the facts to state that my concern initially was to make a dramatic photograph  of a single emigration for a family member. Whilst thinking of a suitable means of execution of  this duty it occurred  to me that a series of similar images  would indeed make an interesting social comment.

 From  that singular point of departure  the project On Leaving developed  exponentially and as time passed I  became more involved as I climbed its curve towards  the plateau that was to become the above mentioned publication. From this perspective, the now, I have a clear overview of all that this experience has brought to me and my  collaborators and I am set to investigate further, but from a now altered perspective and with a different way of evaluating what I find.

Let me explain. On October 1st last year (2014) I took up a research position in my old school
(IADT Dun Laoaghaire). I am currently pursuing the making of a practice led study on current Irish emigration which aims to ask a specific question.The question being:  In the case of  the current Irish emigrant, what  is the distance between expectation and reality? The answering of that question will involve the making of new artworks, (photography, moving image, soundscape) and it is envisaged that experiencing the works will add new depth to the understandings already arrived at by other academic investigations into the area of recent emigration.

A practiced led research study Is for this project, a novel and innovative way in which to look at this subject and should as a result of this new investigation from the practice perspective, add new depth to what is already known about this subject. Whilst it applies the full weight and responsibility  of academic research to the topic a large proportion of its study is given over to producing new works whose process and  creative outcomes demonstrate the generation of new knowledge. For me this means the grounding of all works on a solid base of all that has gone before. For you the viewer of these final works the reassurance that you will experience works as evocative as those I have produced in the past, but with an extra depth that may induce a desire to look deeper into the research that brought these works to life. An exhibition of this soon to be started practice component of this project will happen in early 2017.The physical work starts now.
See a great review of the book here see it , like it , share it!
See the book here! , buy it!

Saturday, 3 January 2015


Almost three years ago now I planned this video piece and prepared it in its first form for St Patrick's day projections around the world.Having finished  shooting the series in summer 2013 I re-edited the work to include all of the works ( the count went from 75 to 84in the intervening period)
This piece was used in the first On Leaving show in Siamse Tiré,Tralee,co Kerry.
With all the contributors thanked in the acknowledgements of the book On Leaving,  I felt the time was right for one final re-edit so as  to slowly name all of the sitters on a list in the form of the credits at the end of this piece.On the night it gave me such pleasure to see this come together. I beamed with pride to hear two fantastic pieces of music by my collaborator Ian Monahan Echo loud and sure all around meeting house square.
And so for all,of you who came down on the night a big thanks.For those of you who could not make it, the video played on the night is here and the book is available for immediate shipping from
I Have resisted placing this projection piece online till now, I hope you all enjoy it!
Please comment freely, It helps to work it all out!

Friday, 19 December 2014


Thanks to all who came down to the Gallery of Photography last Thursday(dec 11th 2014) it was a pure delight to meet and share all my good feelings for those who have been part of this, The On Leaving project.
Simple as that. It wouldn't have happened without all those named here in this short clip!
Please applaud them.
Much love

big thanks to Ray Hegarty for the vid!!!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014


Just a short post to let you all know that the rescheduled date and time for the book launch is Thursday, December, 11th at 6 p.m.
projections to see, books to buy, and Christmas drinks to toast all the sitters of this amazing project.
Hope to see you all there.
Sorry if the rescheduling inconvenienced anyone,it was unavoidable!


Sunday, 16 November 2014


I can't help getting excited about my upcoming adventures in publishing and it looks like this book, ON LEAVING,will be for me all about the way and ways image and text conspire to tell a story or to stay out of each others way.
You will get where I am coming from when  you get to see the book.Its all set to be launched in a week and a half's time at the Gallery Of Photography, Meeting House Square, Temple Bar. It Happens at 6pm, on Wednesday, November 26th.
Hope to see you there!
In the meantime you can check out Alan Pentony's images on previous posts right here.(and here)
As always comments are welcomed and sharing is now so important with such a big day for the project looming.
So please like, comment and share this to any one you may feel would have an interest.
For more details on the publication, see on

Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Hi all  I can't wait to get to the point of presentation. Details on the poster included here.
In short, Wednesday, Nov. 26th at 6pm at the Gallery of Photography.
See the post about Mick Reid here, Its a good one!Its all about the  hard choices we make in life.
I believe this man has made it home from Adelaide Australia for a visit. I am really looking forward to meeting him again. I know so much has changed for him. I want to hear about it!

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Wow! It is such a thrill to be standing at this point in the process making it all work out.
Arranging for the launch of the book to happen.
The printing has by now taken place and from my few hours spent on the press pass a couple of days ago it seems like all will be good and we will have a book to be proud of in a couple of weeks.
This book is being made with the sole purpose of honouring the Heros, the men and women who had to leave this country in the midst of economic turmoil.Its a big undertaking and I hope lots of you turn up on the night to view and to buy this 304 page salute to the men and women who I feel are indeed our brightest stars shining for all of Ireland out there in the firmament.
keep an eye here for updates as we go and get closer to the date!
se the original Ciara picture here