The first trace of ash dieback in Ireland was detected in Co. Leitrim in 2012. Ash dieback is a fatal fungal disease of the ash tree. Low cost nursery stock imported from continental Europe led to the introduction of the disease to Ireland; these diseased saplings were imported for planting on one of Ireland’s new motorways. The presence of the disease now threatens the existence of a tree with huge ecological, economic and cultural importance in Ireland.
Provoked by the ash dieback crisis in Ireland, Uinse explores our contemporary perceptions of and interaction with the natural environment; that is overwhelmingly based on the separation of Nature and Society.
While the dominant argument links the origins of the Nature/Society dualism with the rise of The Industrial Revolution, Uinse reveals a longer history and an important one to consider if we are to tackle the present ecological crisis. Colonialism, Capitalism, The Romantic Era and The Industrial Revolution have all played a role in shaping humanity’s relationship with nature —even the very idea of nature itself.
Capitalism and colonialism, based on a separation of Nature and Society, tend to understand nature solely in terms of domination and profit, whilst the Romantics tried to reconnect us to Nature itself.
Despite our domination of the environment a sense of alienation lingers. Even the aesthetic framing of nature employed by the Romantics is a distorted mirror of reality that maintains the Nature/Society dualism. In a sense, this idealisation of nature sentimentalises it and separates us further from our environment.
Uinse argues for a new way of being: an epistemological, cultural and political revolution that rejects the Nature/Society dualism and the excesses of capitalism.
(‘Baile na Fuinseoige’ © Government of Ireland 2019)
Installation Photography: Aisling McCoy
Following a history of deforestation, Ireland went under a considerable afforestation programme from 1949-88. While targets were met, an industrial approach was adopted. Monoculture plantations, often dominated by the non-indigenous Sitka Spruce were the result.
This project is concerned with humanities fraught relationship with the environment. Valued economically, the environment is viewed as an infinite supply of natural resources which humanity should exploit for consumption, progress and economic growth.
Our idea of nature as natural, non-human and untouched must be re-considered. This work sees humans as part of nature, who have dominated and controled it, with little consideraiton for the next generation.
This work was created during ‘How To Flatten A Mountain’, a 10-day residency at the Cow House Studios, and was supported by PhotoIreland.
The emergence of the tourist gaze was largely brought into being by the invention of the camera. The newly invented medium adopted the aesthetics of 19th Century approaches to landscape painting; an emphasis on the picturesque and the sublime, a tradition still today adhered to by tourists boards worldwide. The Icelandic tourist board is no exception!
Iceland is presented as 'out of the ordinary': a pure and untouched terrain sculpted over the aeons by natural forces and illuminated by fantastical light displays.
Útlendingur provides a critique of this idealised version of Iceland from the point of view of an outsider. It focuses on the sights of the everyday and seeks to capture the ordinary events within the landscape that don't conform to the mythic narrative. The result is a playful and affectionate subversion of familiar motifs and an alternative representation of Iceland which goes beyond the clichéd images often used as promotional material in tourist brochures and in the mainstream media.
This work was made into a TLP Edition with PhotoIreland and can be bought here: https://tlp.photoireland.org/search?type=product&q=tlp+editions
It was created during a 1-month artist residency at NES, Iceland
Project 45’ is an exhibition of artwork made by the 4th class students from St Vincent’s GNS, William Street North. 2019 marks 45 years since restoration began on The Royal Canal. Its potential as a recreational, educational and ecological amenity was recognised. In a rapidly changing environment, the exhibition presents a vision of The Royal Canal over the next 45 years.
The students worked on 5 projects:
St Vincent’s School Boat
Royal Canal Annual Birthday Party & Festival
Annual Canoe Race
Luxury Spa & Restaurant
Designed and faciliated by Sarah Flynn in collaboration with 5 Lamps Arts Festival, Royal Canal Amenity Group and Fighting Words.
Filmed for RTÉ Nationwide & TRTÉ news2day.
JOHN FRANCIS FLYNN / LANKUM / SKIPPER’S ALLEY / FERGUS MC GORMAN / CORMAC BEGLEY / WHELAN’S / THERE ONCE WAS ANOTHER KING / RORY MC MAHON / GAY MCKEON