Monthly Archive for December, 2012

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Kenneth O’ Halloran – Life After Death

Kenneth O’Halloran

Life After Death

Though now a more secular society, Ireland still has remnants and relics of the old religious faith, even if many of its devoted followers are typically advanced in age – part of what might be termed a dying generation.

The Catholic Church had been one of the country’s mainstays. Falling Mass attendances, declining priest numbers and various damaging scandals have shaken the institution and weakened its grip. Despite this, my father is a daily Mass-goer; his faith doesn’t appear to have flinched.

 

 

The house where I grew up in the west of Ireland is where my father now resides with his wife and their daughter Susan; all the rest of the family have flown the nest, some starting families of their own, one in New York where she has become part of the Irish Diaspora.

The religious paraphernalia located throughout this house gives God a central presence and status not uncommon in Ireland at the time. We prayed as a family, like when the Angelus bells struck at noon and six in the evening. We knelt at night to say the Holy Rosary. Many of our rites of passage as children were rooted in Catholicism – our first communion, our confirmation, and so on.

My father, who is 80, would not have seen anything remarkable in this. He was merely carrying on the tradition of his own father’s generation. Having spent half his life working, he recently retired, closing his drapery store. His undertaker’s business continues.

For me and others in the family it meant that death was never far away or overtly mysterious. We became accustomed to the dead of our parish being prepared for the final ceremonies before burial. We would often come home from school to see who had died that day. If we truly wanted to make our father proud, we would have mastered the game he followed all his life: hurling. This ancient Irish sport, requiring great dexterity, courage and speed, can still weave a spell on him.

Born in a rural community he has seen his own life change and now that of his children too. In recent years he lost a brother to whom he was close. Now I see him deriving great joy from his grandchildren. In their company he seems tranquil. At peace. His work done.

 

 

Bio

Kenneth O Halloran was born in the West of Ireland, and is a graduate of the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dun Laoghaire.

Based in Dublin, he is currently working on a number of long term projects, which include a personal portrayal of his family shot over 5 years.

His project ‘Tales from the Promised Land’ was shortlisted for the Terry O’Neill Award 2010 and a portrait entitled ‘Twins: Puck Fair’ was shown in The National Portrait Gallery in London, as part of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2010.

He has recently received third prize in the Portrait Stories category of the World Press Photo awards and is also the recipient of the Focus Project Monthly Award (March 2011).

He received an honorable mention in the Art of Photography show San Diego 2011 and a portrait entitled ‘Olive, selling dresses’ has been selected for exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (Taylor Wessing 2011).

He received an honorable mention in Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2011 and was winner of the Terry O’Neill/Tag Award 2011.

 

Related links

Kenneth O Halloran

 

Red Sofa. Miami

Miami

Part of the crowd gathered for my opening at Abba Fine Art during Art Basel/Miami

Miami

Andrei Becheru – The Fountain

Andrei Becheru

The Fountain

I think you come to grasp a place better when you spend a considerable amount of time there; by seeing and listening to everything around you, you develop a constant connection, you react to it, and then, in the end, you distil everything; in my case, with images.

But, first of all, it needs to be a place where everything is found in abundance. It must be a wild territory. A piece of land with a vast history, a land that still bears the mark of past colonizations. A land battered by the tumultuous feet of several generations who lived, fought and died in this place.

When I started (around 2009), I did not view this material in the form of a project. I was traveling in the South of the country where I live, Romania, I had been exploring photography for two years already when I begun to gradually discover this place called Dobruja.

I had read some material, I had seen some documentaries about the Danube Delta, about the hardships which the people inhabiting this area have become accustomed to, or not. I came to know the story of a mining town built in Romania’s Communist era, hidden behind sedimented hills used for copper extractions.

It is difficult to approach the topic surrounding the prosperity of this mining town in the Socialist era, at this point, but one can track down the drastic consequences brought about by the Post-Communist period, consequences mirrored in the people who remained here, on this land ravaged by the effects of industrialization.

After more than a year of exploring this place and starting from a few “trigger” images which illustrate this scenery, I had the impression that I was beginning to discover and approach different subjects. I thought that these images made up a beginning of something that might subsequently crystallize into individual projects. I continued to photograph the day to day life in this scenery. I was conscious of the diversity of the images gathered, but I could not contain them; I felt the need to spread them out.

 

 

Bio

I, Andrei Becheru, was born in 1984 in Bucharest, Romania.

From early on I chose drawing and painting as means of expression. I completed my studies in the field of design at the National University of Fine Arts of Bucharest in 2007. Absorbed by a past aspiration, which, in the meantime, had become an inner necessity, I started taking photographs three years ago, first on film, and then adopting the digital medium.

One year into digital photography, I nostalgically returned to images on photographic film that had marked my memory.

Presently, I work as an art director for an online fashion store. In parallel with film photography, I began experimenting with moving pictures using an old video camera.

 

Veronica Daltri – Amore Mio di Provincia

Veronica Daltri

Amore Mio Di Provincia

The project is focused on the province of Italy as a category of feeling.

In fact there is no interest in creating a physical amenability to a specific land; what I want is to convey the feeling of the province and that of living in the province.

As I was shooting the project, I understood that the sensation was the same in Marsala as it was in Ivrea or in Barletta or in Udine. That feeling brings to a kind of collapse of the 110 Italian provinces, into the biggest and unique province: Italy itself.

This work was done with slide films to resemble the color tones of films commonly used by Italian families in the 70s-80s, because sometimes in the province it is like if the time has been stopped at that time.

During my travel throughout the peninsula, I moved focused on the everyday lives of people. I went to common situations: friends chatting on a lawn, sunbathers at the beach, Saturday night in the disco. As if the pictures I took were my personal notes about the maxi country, my tale about todays Italy.

 

 

Bio

Veronica Daltri was born in Cesena in 1985.

During the university years she discovered her passion for photography. After the degree in Herbal Medicine, she won a grant at the San Lorenzo FotoFestival in Roma and she attended the courses at the Scuola Romana di Fotografia, taking the degree in 2011.

In 2011 she joined the Luz Agency in Milan and became one of the younger photographers represented by the agency in the “Avant Guarde” section.

The project “Amore Mio Di Provincia” was published on RVM magazine and was shown at Officine Fotografiche in Rome in 2012, during the “Obiettivo Donna” Festival.

 

Abba Fine Art Gallery

Lil Mike, Lil Candy, and I are hanging the show tomorrow. I will be showcasing some collector fine art prints here in Miami during Art Basel. Swing by and have a look. Stay tuned….

Arnau Blanch Vilageliu – Veneno

Arnau Blanch Vilageliu

Veneno

ESSAY CONTAINS EXPLICIT CONTENT

Veneno ‘Poison’ plays inside the Colombian jungle. Its essence are moments lived, towns, roads, skies and random sites inside the jungle, captured while passing, almost stolen.

It is the terrifying story about an encounter with the environment, which looks outward, but also inward. It bears witness to a scarcely glimpsed dark connection between the omnipresent exuberance all around and its deepest resonance inside of men.

In the jungle it’s impossible to be a simple spectator, to stay safe. The depth that governs implies penetrating in from the very beginning: penetrating into its most extreme depths, into its density and into its intimate abyss.

 

 

Bio

Born in Barcelona the 26th of Februrary of 1983, he grew up in a small village near Girona.

He moved back to Barcelona at the age of 21 to study photography at IEFC (Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya) and absolved the entire three-year program and specialized in photo essay and writing about photography.

At the end of 2006 he went to New York to study at the ICP (International Center of Photography), where he specialized in documentary photography: taking the ‘Passion, Purpous and Personal Vision’ and ‘You, Your Life, Your World’ courses.

While he was in NYC he interned at the International agency WPN (World Pictures News). In 2011 he was preselected for the Joop Swart Masterclass of the World Press Photo.

He currently lives and works between Barcelona and Colombia.