In July 2011 I went to London to drop off some entries for a competition.
I had been shooting parting shots for 15 months and had completed about 50 images by that time.
As the months moved on I kept in touch with a number of sitters one of them Being Conor Mc Mahon who I had photographed a year previous in his own back garden.
Conor who now lived close to London invited me to stay over with him on my trip and suggested we meet in Victoria railway station after I had done my work up at Elephant and Castle.
Just before this time I was gifted a 6x6 camera by an old friend Brendan Doyle(retired photographer at the National Museum of Ireland). It occurred to me that the 6x6 with a wide angle lens and waist level finder was a way back to a style of shooting I had used in the past that could provide a nice counterpoint to the very stylised colour heavily lit parting shots.
I endeavored therefor to try out a roll of black and white TMAX400 in this format and see how it worked.
The results were published on my blog on what was one of the most important days of the project to date december the 2nd 2011(see it here)(it will become obvios why if you read the post)
I continued to hone this technique through making photographs of sitters who returned(see here)
And I was delighted with the results. I made a trip to France and photographed another sitter in Quimper,Brittany Happy that my technique was good and the chance of sucess was high I set off to Australia in Late October with 3 boxes of Tmax and my 6x6 camera.To date I have shot over 30 rolls of film making this piece of the project and I will endeavor to meet as many of my sitters for this very exciting part of the process before complete the project proper.
Other works in this mode I have published on the blog where the following, Claire Weir and Brian Maxwell,Sarah Griffin,Aoife O Donnell,and Marie Carroll
All of these follow on visits have been extremely helpful to me in resolving questions asked of me by the project and for me this has been a key element of the process as it has given great meaning to the preceding work, adding depth to the stories of the individuals and reinforcing the multifarious motivations that bring about the act of migration.I say once more. It's not a lifestyle choice its a complex mix of desire,nescessity and desperation. This holds true for most of those I have met on this journey.
The Shot on top which features in the current show on in Siamse Tíre is of a great character who's company I really enjoyed on my visit to Byron Bay. A man who was watching his working life as a trucker in Ireland shrink and did something about it!Alan Pentony.
The shot was made at Bruswick heads just outside Byron A great location on beautiful day.
Another I share with you on this post was one of the most memorable of the Australia trip.
On visiting Rockhampton, Quensland I was brought up Mount Archer and made some shots Of Clay Crighten looking out over the Fitzroy river and his home town Rockhampton.Clay worked as a storeman in Ireland for some years before he and his Irish wife Rae Green decided to give Australia a go.
I am honoured to have met these people again in their new homes and I will endeavor to get over to the Americas to continue this process. I will also,in a future post, fill in some more details about the show in Siamse Tíre and how a heartbeat served as a worthy metaphor to pull two shows together (a visual ON LEAVING and a theatrical IMIGÉIN (The Scattering)both which launched on the same night)
Also please share and comment as both actions bring me nothing but joy!