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Post Grad Blog 2 - Development of Ideas

So to summarise before we start, the Untitled Ireland Project has gone through yet another iteration. When looking through more of the film photos that I had developed, I started to piece together correlating imagery between pictures, which I tied into the concept that I had previously discussed with Yan.

Essentially, the talk I had with Yan resulted in the topic of what Ireland actually is and how I perceive it as an outsider to the country. There are certain expectations that you expect to have met when you visit mother countries, mainly in terms of the emotions that this place will elicit from you. But like previously mentioned in my prior blog post, when I visited Ireland, I didn't develop that sense of belonging that I thought I would. This led to the idea that Yan described as Irish Mysticism, which is essentially how my perception of this terrain had effected my photos, as well as my ideas about the country itself. I think Ireland is a place that many people, myself included, have preconceived notions about and it was up to me in my work to either support this idea of mysticism or work against it.

With this idea in my head, I started to look at the photos that I had already taken to see if I had discussed it subconsciously. Shockingly, I hadn't. But there were some photos that caught my attention, most specifically the ones that I took in Gougane Barra, which is home to an ancient burial site, as well as a small chapel that was built in the 19th century. I related this to the discussion that I had by thinking about what I perceive the concepts of what is mystical in Irish culture and I immediately went for catholicism. It is something that is so quintessential to them that it felt like the natural conclusion of where to take it and luckily Gougane Barra is brilliant starting point. The church there was built in the name of Cork's Patron Saint: St Finbarr. I started to look into his history, and looking online revealed that it was one of the locations on a pilgrimage route. This led to looking at the other pilgrim paths throughout Ireland, of which there aren’t many to choose from. They aren’t long ones either, as the longest one is a 2 day walk, which even by pilgrim path standards, isn’t even that long. I may have to look at doing some of the shorter ones though, as my back injury might keep me from managing a 2 day pilgrimage, but by doing several shorter ones, it might allow for a greater variety in imagery by capturing different terrain.

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