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I have a complex relationship with my family and with Northern Ireland, where I grew up—it feels governed by a tension between distance and closeness.
We think of our self as separate from our surroundings and other people, but blood relatives unsettle this autonomy, sharing our DNA, and knowing us in a particularly deep way. This entanglement may be grounding and supportive, but when you inherit things like mental illness, this intimacy can instead be painful.
Photographs of my childhood have a magical quality for me. The bodies they depict are precious and fragile. But the flat closed surfaces of the prints are at odds with that. I find myself wanting to give that fleshy life back to them, to reinscribe images of the person I was then with who and where I am now. To press together that absolute distance and that totalising closeness.
Published by PhotoIreland
Edition of 200
148 × 210 mm