Category Archives: personal

Light on the Leaves

I’m slowly working my way through years of photos. Clearing up, deleting, organising, tagging. It’s almost like looking back through different lives, it feels cathartic to clear so much out and let unnecessary things go. I’ve always been terrible at keeping my files neat, so there are several years worth of messy folders to wade through. But it’s bringing up some gems that I haven’t edited yet, and they’re feeding a creative urge that’s been gone for a while. Photography mojo ebbs and flows unpredictably, and it’s nice to feel it flow back in just as autumn has hit.

My main issue now is actually finding time to go out and shoot. Taking on a part time MSc while I continue to work a full week means that my free time has taken a hit. Often just trying to see friends and family means that spare time for photography doesn’t exist. I find myself on the tram to work in the mornings, watching the light in the trees and regretting that I haven’t yet gotten out to capture this colourful season. 

I’m busy now, but it will be worth it in the bigger scheme of things. At the root of all this change is the desire to be closer to the countryside, to live somewhere green and quiet, it’s a big pull I’ve felt all my life. To get there, I need a viable way to support myself long term into the future, and a career change will offer me exactly that. I’ve put off this work for years, allowed life to shape my choices rather than having my choices shape my life.

So now I’ve taken charge and am heading exactly where I want to be. If it means I have less time for creative outlets for a short while, I can bear it knowing that someday I’ll live somewhere that inspires creativity on a daily basis. In the meantime I’ll watch the light on the leaves and know I’m working my way towards being closer to that beauty every day. 

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New edit of an old shot, some pretty snowdrops in my Dad’s garden. At this point I find myself happily thinking ahead, making plans again and dreaming about the future. When I start planning I know that I’m feeling myself again. I love to dream about the things I can do, places I want to travel to and goals I want to reach, but depression takes a lot of that away from you. It kills any ability to consider the next few days never mind the next year or two. It also robs you of motivation, the desire to do anything. I spent many evenings lying in bed, fully clothed, on the edge of sleep; mindlessly browsing the Internet or attempting to watch TV shows. Focus was utterly gone, what I was really doing was lying there waiting for enough time to pass so that I could go to sleep for the night. I hated it, but at the same time I knew I needed to just sink into it for a while. 

Now that I’ve slowly pieced myself back together, I feel like I can finally make a start on living the full life I’ve always wanted to live. No one to take it away from me, make fun of it or fake it. I won’t make the mistake of allowing anyone to do that ever again. It’s wonderful to feel free like this, weaving the life I want from small daily plans, from moisturising my face at night to sitting in meditation after I wake. All these tiny steps of self care that fill our days, knowing that each one adds either adds to the future or builds upon a healthy, whole and happy life.

I feel like a snowdrop learning to bloom as winter’s grip begins to ease.

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Placed ~ Photo Encaustic Prints

In late January I began meeting weekly with a group of amateur photographers, led by visual artist Sinead McDonald, to discuss and develop ideas for our first photography show.  Last weekend finally saw the result of it all, and after watching everyone work the seeds of their ideas into a full blown photographic project, it was such a pleasure to finally see everything hanging in the Hendrons Collider gallery here in Dublin.

I chose to learn about a photo encaustic method where I layered a mixture of beeswax and resin over soft paper prints.  The result was a set of delicate photos, capturing an altered view of Dublin under many types of light (seen in the photo above, and the last few shots in this post).  I loved working with the wax, and plan to experiment with it further, hopefully I’ll put some more pieces together over the summer.  It was hard to catch how they truly looked with my camera, but I hope you’ll get an idea of it from these photos.

Working with the group was such a great experience.  I learned a lot from them, not only about developing my own ideas, but also about the value of trusted critique and the subjective nature of how we each view art so differently.  I want to extend heartfelt gratitude to Sinead for guiding us so smoothly through our projects, and to the members of TOG who provided the perfect space for us to work in.  And many thanks to those of you who came to our opening night to celebrate with us, and to everyone who visited over the weekend!  For a little more information on the Placed exhibition have a read of this previous post.

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