I remember one boy, with the way the geography went, I would of let him off on the Southern side of the border but he lived on the other side and he had to walk across a field, down an old railway line, across a river to the end of his lane. And when he got to the end of his lane he shone his lamp back at me to say he was safe – Mervyn.
The small village of Pettigo straddles the border between Donegal and Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and the Republic. The border is marked by the River Termon flowing through the centre of town. Two bridges allow you to cross from North to South and at some points you can just step across and not even realise you have entered another country. Nolan’s expectations of what a border town would be, with heightened tension and strong divides, were invisible to her.
As I looked at the land and its people, I couldn’t tell where the real divisions lay. Following the river, I questioned the artificial construct of a border imposed upon nature. What is this physical space? A lacuna, a cavity in understanding. A landless land.
Being Irish but having grown up outside of Ireland, I find a gap in my understanding of the relationship between the North and South. With Lacuna, I am investigating the realities of these divisions today on a minute level. Through the recorded stories of individuals from both sides of the border, the use of still and moving images, and an original score, I will endeavour to illustrate what is not easily visible
About Kate Nolan
Nolan is an Irish visual artist specialising in extended photographic stories that examine the nature of identity within “in-between” spaces. Intrigued by the effects of shifting histories and unknown narratives within these spaces, she collaborates with communities to uncover and voice their personal circumstances. Through combining her images with the individual’s narratives, Nolan builds stories that highlight latent contradictions and the tenuous relationships between political borders and cultural identity.
Nolan’s work has been featured in a wide range of photography publications and exhibited in solo and group shows in Ireland and internationally. In September 2014 she published an artist’s book of her long-term work, Neither, which explores the dreams and fears of women in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Neither won the Magnum Award 2015, the Alliance Francaise Award 2013 and was nominated for Best Photobook at Foto Book Kassel 2015. Neither has been exhibited in 2015 at Belfast Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Photo London and Kassel. Nolan’s work is held in public and private collections in Japan, USA, France, Portugal, Mexico, UK and Ireland.
About New Irish Works
Selected by an international panel of 23 professionals, New Irish Works brings you a selection of 20 projects and 20 photographers representing the diverse range of practices coming from Ireland. New Irish Works 2016 is a year long project of 10 presentations and 20 publications that aims to highlight the great moment Irish Photography is experiencing.
The artists selected are Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Aisling McCoy, Caitriona Dunnett, Dara McGrath, Daragh Soden, David Thomas Smith, Eanna de Freine, Emer Gillespie, Enda Bowe, Jan McCullough, Jill Quigley, Kate Nolan, Mandy O’Neill, Matthew Thompson, Miriam O’Connor, Noel Bowler, Robert McCormack, Roseanne Lynch, Shane Lynam, and Yvette Monahan.
Every month from July 2016 to July 2017, a special presentation will be hosted at The Library Project for two of the selected artists at a time. The presentation will include a display and a publication for each artist’s project. The two artists that will be presented during PhotoIreland Festival 2016 are Daragh Soden and Mandy O’Neill.
As part of the project, PhotoIreland will bring New Irish Works abroad at key events like PhotoEspaña, with the support of the Embassy of Ireland in Madrid, and to Paris during Paris Photo, with the support of the Centre Culturel Irlandais and Culture Ireland.
Find out more: newirishworks.com