This photographic series combines imagery from four disparate sources: neo-classical sculpture, west of Ireland landscapes, found images and the studio setting. The processes are quick and playful, using simple collage techniques to surprise the imagery into a new and permeable series of connections.
There is an attempt to collapse the binaries and conventions suggested by the source imagery, to reveal the representational and cultural constructs at play. But there are also recurring motifs across the series, which suggest the imposition of an alternative, if obscure, continuity or meaning.
The work takes its title from the Nabokov short story The Passenger. In the story a seemingly dramatic plot is built and is then exposed as a series of disconnected details, conflated briefly in the imagination. In these prints the device of both presenting and taking apart the props of narrative is used to test how we read an image, leaving the viewer to, in Nabokov's phrase, ‘notice and fondle details’.
The series to date comprises ten images, printed as digital pigment prints onto photo baryta paper at various sizes.
About Ailbhe Nií Bhriain
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain received her MA from the Royal College of Art and was awarded her PhD by Practice from Kingston University, UK in 2008. She uses video, photography and sound to explore ideas of identity and displacement. Her work has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, including RHA, Dublin, Musée des Beaux–Arts de Rennes, Britanny, EVA International, Limerick, Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Wapping Project, London and Jerwood Space, London. Upcoming exhibitions include: Reports to an Academy (solo) at Domobaal, London; 2116 atLewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork & Broad Museum, Michigan, and Festival Oodaaq, Nantes.
The work has increasingly involved collaboration with musicians and composers, including Kaija Saariaho, Linda and Irene Buckley and Pádraig Murphy, with screenings and installations incorporating recorded sound, live performance and improvisation.
Ailbhe is represented by Domobaal Gallery, London and lectures at the Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork. 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
Limited edition of 200
Published by PhotoIreland
Please note: Local pick-up of orders is available from
The Library Project at 4 Temple Bar Street, Dublin 2.