Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Orlaorange joins the team

Welcome Orla Orange!

Glad you managed to negotiate the blog invite. You are the first team member to join. You should be able to make posts to the blog now. It might be useful if you want feedback on your own photos as well as on the photos taken in Sherkin last weekend.

On Sunday I gave a very hasty demonstration on how to scan negatives and invert them to positive images using Adobe Photoshop. I am hoping that the people involved in the project will share resources to scan the remaining images and send them to me to post on the blog or post them directly themselves.

If there are problems scanning the images let me know and I will see if I can help sort it out.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The People Behind the Cameras

A lot of work went into making the images displayed in the last post. Here are some photos to remind us of what it was all about and who was involved.

Sherkin Island 27 September 2008

We will be back again on Sunday 23 November to discuss how we can progress the project and again on Sunday 21 December to harvest the solargraph cans.

Keep a watch on this website for more references and hopefully comments and suggestions from the group.

More Sherkin Pinhole Images

Sherkin Island Pinhole Images Work in Progress

The community hall on Sherkin Island was a hive of activity yesterday. Eight pinhole enthusiasts turned up and worked hard all day making coffee can cameras, taking photographs and developing negatives in our temporary darkroom. Each and everyone threw themself into the challenge of learning what can be a very tricky process and each and eveyone produced results that were beyond any expectation.

The work was varied in subject matter and the challenge of calculating exposure times was exacerbated by a change in weather conditions. We had bright sunshine yesterday, but today was quite overcast. The photos show familiar territory and faces in a new light.

There were some technical challenges too. I am more comfortable with a PC than a Mac, but we did manage to scan images and produce positives.

There are many more negatives to be scanned - I hope participants can make the technology available through Sherkin Island Development Society work in this regard. If not get back to me.

I will post more images on the blog when I get them.

Solargraphy film and coffee cans were distributed and will be exposed for three months until the winter solstice on December 21st.

Connor O'Riordan

Kordula Packard

Matthew Stephens

Sheelagh Broderick

Anne McConkey

Joe Jefferies

Michael Stevens

Orla Gleeson

Mags Reilly

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sherkin Island Artist in the Community Workshop

Today we are going to dive in to the world of pinhole photography.

We will each make a pinhole camera from a coffee can, make exposures and develop negatives. The negatives will be scanned into the computer and then the image inverted to make a positive.

Each participant will receive a pinhole film can which will be exposed for 3 months approximately, before being sent to Finland in a solargraphy project.

The following links demonstrate the concept and application of pinhole photography.

a bit of theory first;

Camera Obscura

Pinhole Artists

Global Map of Solargraphy

As part of this project we will be using the technique of Solargraphy
to capture images over an extended period of time. These images will then be sent to Finland to be part of a project mapping suntracks worldwide in global map of solargraphy in association with Tarja Trygg of the University of Helsinki.

Have Fun!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MFV Mulroy Bay II

51 29.248 N 009 21.623

These are the coordinates in latitude and longitude identifying the position of Mulroy Bay II in Church Strand, Baltimore, Co. Cork where she has been abandoned. In the distance you can see MFV Atlantic Mariner.

MFV Atlantic Mariner

51 29.388 N 009 21.581 W

These are the coordinates of latitude and longitude identifying the position of the MFV Atlantic Mariner which now lies on its beam in Church Strand, Baltimore Co. Cork.

This is how she looked before she keeled over. To see what fishermen have been saying about her click here .

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Remember when you were a child and you thrilled with anticipation? Parents returning home, chocolate at Easter and presents at Christmas were all part of my childhood anticipations, but as an adult I had lost this ability to enjoy this feeling.

This weekend I was really excited - after three months I retrieved some of my pinhole film cans that I have secreted around about where I live. These cans were left out on the Summer solstice and were exposing through to the Autumn equinox.

I had done some shorter exposures over 10 days earlier in the Summer, but these really capture the track of the sun. Now I have the Winter solstice to anticipate a further crop of solargraphs.

I am sending some of the cans back to Finland to participate in a global map of solargraphy being coordinated by Tarja Trygg. It is a great project with some fantastic images.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Church Strand

Saturday, September 20, 2008

National Sculpture Factory - Temporary Projects at the Docks, Cork

IƱigo Manglano-Ovalle, The Weather Statio

The station is precariously perched on the edge and with a slight overhang of the dock wall - it conveys the idea of risk for the artwork itself as well as for the viewer. Using solar panels to power the weather station, information about the micro climate within the container is registered but not recorded - feeling but not thinking.

Sorcha O'Brien and Eli Camaano, Ballon

This projects is a light, airy and frivolous a counterpoint to the inorganic weight of docklands landscape.

Seamus Nolan also had a piece entitled Docks Tour, but unfortunately I did not get a photo of the horse and trap with the very congenial jarvey, Micheal. The tour offers access to the working docks or what is left of the working docks and if prompted by the participant, Micheal, whose father was a docker, will respond with stories of working life on the docks.

A seminar, The Expectation of Spectacle, followed a tour of the temporary projects with very interesting contributions in particular from John Bewley of Locus+

Church Strand

This is Church Strand, a place where fishing boats have been abandoned to rot and rust where they lie.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The art of surveillance

Ever since the first photograph was taken, it has been used as a tool for surveillance. Google has taken this potential with street view proving 360 degree panoramic street levels views that allows viewers to proceed through an area as if at ground level.

Artist Hasan Elahi who was picked up as a potential terrorist on returning to the US post 9/11 has since published every aspect of his life on the web. He publishes his real-time location, daily photos validating his whereabouts, his bank statements, the meals he has eaten and even the toilets he has visited. All this in order to avoid being mistaken for a terrorist again. The regime at Guantanamo Bay leaves one with little confidence in the precept of justice, innocent until proven guilty.

For this artist going public was the only way he could ensure his privacy and primary right to freedom.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shifting Ground

Fiona Woods

Pink Sheds
February 2005, Finavara, Co. Clare For three consecutive evenings after dusk a small farm shed blazed with pink light for a number of hours. Artist Fiona Woods set out to highlight the fact that people work in this beautiful but contested landscape and to draw attention to an existing rural aesthetic of which these sheds, taken as sculptural forms are a part. ‘It’s about making the familiar and ordinary beautiful and extraordinary, just for a moment’.

Maria Kerin

Sweet Bellharbour

Maria took 49 white cotton sheets and embroidered the name of one individual on each, in silver thread; these were hung in a triangular field in Bellharbour for a period of two weeks in the summer of 2005; the sound-work was played over a tannoy system from sunrise to sunset each day.

These artworks are part of a series of initiatives in Clare, examining Contemporary Art in a Rural Context.

Clare is predominantly a rural county. The Arts Office of Clare County Council initiated Ground Up to foster a new type of engagement between Public Art and rural contexts as a response to the phenomenon whereby a large number of artists live in a rural setting, yet the arts, for the most part, take place in urban locations.

In 2006 a conference was held, Shifting Ground New Perspectives on Art and Rural Culture

The conference called for a new cultural discourse, to place the rural at the center of a debate about arts practice, social engagement and sustainability.

Rural contexts and audiences have not been considered significant in the development of the contemporary cultural discourse. Increasingly it is becoming clear that the rural is a contested zone, where some of the most pressing issues of our time are being played out – issues of environmental sustainability, issues of global economics versus local economies, issues of food production and genetic modification, issues of community breakdown, issues of cultural commodification – and so on.

The Day Nobody Died

Last Spring I went a little crazy on ebay purchasing all kinds of photographic oddments at rock bottom prices. One of these items was a 156 metre x 15.6 cm roll of Kodak Royal colour paper. I was itching to do something with it , but was unsure how I could process it. Well, as is the way of the world someone else used this technique already.

In June of this year Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin traveled to Afghanistan to be embedded with British Army units on the front line in Helmand Province. In place of their cameras they took a roll of photographic paper 50 meters long and 76.2 cm wide contained in a simple, lightproof cardboard box.

They arrived during the deadliest month of the war for the British army. Ignoring events that normally would be recorded by a photographer, they instead ufurled a seven-metre section of the paper and exposed it to the sun for 20 seconds.

The evacuation of content and the strange abstract nature of the resultant image present the viewer with more questions than answers.
It is on exhibition at Paradise Row, London - The Day Nobody Died

Now what am I going to do with that roll of paper?


My process is concerned with making the familiar strange - a common enough approach to making art. Melissa Fleming and Joachim Schmid engage with familiar materials in very different ways. There is a very physical aspect to the way in which both approach their work.

I like the work of Melissa Fleming as she exposes photographic paper to sea and sand to make beautiful prints.

Joachim Schmid is obesessed with photographs to the point that he collects photographic garbage to restore and reassembles the detritus.

These references come from an online magasine Lensculture.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Shadowlands is the title of a series of pinhole photographs by Cork based artist Harry Moore with accompanying poems and prose by the writer William Wall. This temporary installation, a commissioned work, is the first major exhibition in the new atrium of Cork’s City Hall.

Three photographs, printed onto canvas, are exhibited in very large format, accompanied by writings inspired by the images.


Sunday, September 14, 2008


I have just put the header photo on the blog. It is one of my early solargraphs, a technique which will be discussed much further here, but for tonight I will just post another solargraph. Checkout www.solargraphy.com if you just can't wait for more.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Spencer Tunick in Blarney

They say that kissing the Blarney stone will give you the gift of the gab (speech) - but there are some Corkonians keeping very quite about their participation in an art project commissioned by the Cork Summer Fest in June this year and featured on RTE News.

Over 1,000 people turned out at 3am on Tuesday 17th June in the grounds of Blarney castle for a collaborative artwork with Spencer Tunick. He is renowned for his installations of nudes in site specific spaces. The sheer volume of bodies there seemed to join together to become a new social body characterised by conviviality. I don't think I have ever been at such a good humoured event.

I am not saying who was there and who was not - except for myself and Ray D'Arcy of course! The official photographs will be released in the new year - all participants will get a print.

These are all temporary installations which are documented online here http://www.spencertunick.com/ and here http://www.thespencertunickexperience.org/oldindex.htm#Cork_2008. Watch a video here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7460005.stm

Aesthetics ?

Street Art or Vandalism?

This grabbed my attention when walking the streets of Dublin - looks like my mobile phone blogger is working now

Pinhole Photography in Dublin

Living in a rural area can be very isolating especially when your interests include alternative photography. I spent a week at the Gallery of Photography in Templebar, Dublin last June honing my skills in the use of pinhole cameras. This one was taken at the bus stop outside Heuston Station. You can see the livery of Dublin Bus and the station behind, but not the bus !

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Gameboy Still

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 7, 2008

How to make pinhole camera that takes film

Any camera that has a detachable lens with a body cap can be turned into a pinhole camera very quickly.

First detach the camera lense.

Make a pinhole in some aluminium with a needle. Sand the pinhole to flatten the imprint of the needle

Drill a hole in the camera body cap.

Tape the aluminium pinhole to the inside of the body cap

Attach the body cap to the camera. The tape on the outside of the body cap is to keep the camera dust free when not in use.

Load film and experiment with your new pinhole camera - don't forget to remove the external tape when taking photos.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Minolta SLR Pinhole Camera

The photos posted today and yesterday were taken with a Minolta SLR Pinhole Camera. It is a contrast to the black and white images of my other pinhole cameras - not to mention the added convenience of processing film.
This photo was taken on the road to Rath from Baltimore. Yesterday's photo was taken on the pier in Sherkin Island.
All this Summer I have been travelling on roads of all sizes. It occurs to me that they really reflect the changing nature of Irish society and culture. With the roads also come the telephone cables, electricity wires and poles that all come together to make a fabulously complex mesh that I would like to document them over the next year or so.