Lament: Exploring Traces of the 19c. Famine in the Contemporary Irish Landscape.


The work, Lament, represents a distillation of a tragic episode in history related to an Gorta Mór or the Great Hunger in 19th century Ireland. Discovered while walking through the remote Irish landscape, the photographs are a poetic response to a past event in the present moment. Each site, uncovered, is a site of pain and loss, hope and despair. Hidden and ignored, each site of memory connects to a trace of its past history. Lament consists of three components: the archaeological remains of a remote 19c. famine village hidden from sight by the overgrowth of hazel scrub, the remains of an auxiliary Workhouse that housed children evicted from their homes, or left destitute, and images of the sea which serve as a visual metaphor for the concept of leaving home; the tide represent the rhythms of daily life and the fate of the emigrant. Through the act of walking, I retrace the footprint of the village, marking my presence within this site with a boundary line of string.