Now in its ninth year, the PhotoIreland festival has grown to be a major event in the Irish Arts calendar. I joined a small group of OCA Photography students based in Ireland, who co-ordinated a visit to Dublin to both meet up and share the experience. I had recently enrolled in a Bridging: Re-Approaching Photography and this was an ideal opportunity to meet other Open College of the Arts students.
Our planned day, fortunately, coincided with a Curatorial tour, which added a great dimension to the experience and also to understand some of the backgrounds of the artists themselves.
As this was the day after Ireland had voted on repealing the '8th Amendment' to the constitution, which effectively prohibits abortion in Ireland, two the main exhibitions in the festival were especially relevant and poignant. Laia Abril's 'On Abortion' is a striking, multi-layered exhibit that requires immersion and it utterly captivating. A completely different approach to the same topic contrasts dramatically with Sarah Cullen's 'You Shall Have Exactly What You Want'.
Mariela Sancari's 'Moisés'was the final of the three exhibitions that we took in on the Curator's tour and is a striking creation of work born out of the artist's personal grief.
Running until the end of May – highly recommended: http://2018.photoireland.org