Summer is great in Ireland. I am not talking about the weather here. I am talking about the annual PhotoIreland event that takes place all July this year. Am I preaching to the converted here? You probably know about it already if you are based in Ireland.
Never mind, we are more than two weeks in and I have attended a few events already, only my summer hols preventing me from taking in more. The programme of the festival focusses on photography – naturally – but includes more than only exhibitions. In week 1, for instance, I attended a guided tour through the photography section of the RHA annual exhibition. It was my second time looking at the images in there after checking it out previously with my friend A___. But I jumped at the chance of learning more about the exhibited photographs as I had found it difficult to see their significance due to the lack of any blurbs or artists’ statements (see my posting The Good, The Bad and The Ugly).
The tour was guided by Irish photographer and member of the RHA, Amelia Stein. The one-hour lunchtime tour did not provide enough time to talk in-depth about each and every photograph in the show. However, Stein gave explanations about artists and their body of work wherever possible. Personally I particularly pricked up my ears when Stein was talking about the selection process for the annual RHA exhibition: Artists deliver their artworks to the gallery where they will then literally be paraded in front of the panel members in-situ. Whatever grabs the jury’s attention may be examined a little bit longer – and therefore may have a chance of being chosen for the exhibition. Stein seemed to suggest that it was more advantageous for photographers to submit a number of prints from the same project to the panel rather than a portfolio that consists of pictures showing a variety of themes and techniques. – In recent years more and more photography has been selected for the show. This year there are over 40 photographers represented. Bearing in mind what Stein suggested, having a shot at inclusion in this renowned show might be worth-while. Judging from the number of red dots under selected images, the exhibition does work as a showcase where artwork finds buyers.
Anyhow, the RHA is offering another guided tour of the photographic submissions tonight. According to Amelia Stein, there will be some of the photographers present in the gallery when the tour takes place, so that should make this event even better than the tour I was on. So head on down tonight, Thursday, July 14th. The tour starts at 6pm, is free of charge and does not require booking.
15 Ely Place