Something happened. Over three years or so ago to help and re-acquaint myself with Dublin I did what any normal artist would do in difficult and trying times, I, lonely man started to record again. Record the feelings that maybe a place would bring back, without being nostalgic which is very cool these days [ i.e. – sitting outside Pygmalion drinking thunders of pints and at the age of 25 looking back at when it was great in Andrews lane ]
I looked around daytime and found the look of the city too busy for me, It was that new bustle that probably adds to the separation I might have felt towards the large mix of Dubliners, it’s this that makes me grumpy, I felt i was on my own, maybe this happens to all of us but I felt singular, all of a sudden those who broke their backs bringing class and culture to the city slid sideways for a new set who believed they invented whats happening. The different cultures who live here still would be suspicious if you said hello, the suits in Leinster house further away and it was always hard to get to sleep or get a tea in a cafe at 3 in the morning. Something happened, I lost her. I lost something.
The text on photos of the city came naturally seeing black and whites of unusually favourite places down by the river or up at maggot street or O’Connell street where i would see the woman that I imagined Dublin being wandering around changing shoes or laughing loudly, a little drunk, sassy and yet rough around the edges, it was herself I missed, that funny girl, she’d just stand up and sing whenever the inclination came over her. She didn’t care, now she’s worried what people think. well that was what I thought.
Thisplace project initially started as a photographic experiment and as all that could be said was finally spoken the photographs seemed to finally shimmer, if I stared at the screen long enough they might flicker, they might move.
Imagine Dublin herself might meet the one man in the street that loved her for what she was, he got to talk to her asked her a simple question or two, Do you love me? what happened to us?
So I decided to write a script for the chance meeting, set it in a car at the city edge or in a Spar cafe on Dame street, or a fast food place, I wanted to hear what the city had to say, glamourous and rough that she is, his eyes betrayed him with the love. they’d have a coffee, stare and argue, smile and forgive. walking away but looking back “You know I love you right?” she would touch him on the arm and say “Don’t say those things” it would be tense, probably raining but he wouldn’t give in. We start shooting in a month with two good friends of mine, great actors whose read through on the first day made my hairs stand up. Anne Whyte, Mark Donaghy and Wissame Cherfi will be second camera on the day. I’ll show you when its quietly finished.
To have that other place to go to work sometimes. it’s good to have a space for your head, not a work place although this place is a work space shared with Solus and Maser we walked in and said yes, a spot on Cork Street a difficult feeling place in Dublin I think but good windows and a big cutting table, it would be good for photographs and painting, sitting around on the computer and working things through, but its taken me a while to get used to it.
Recently though as quick as a short phone call i spoke to DMC a painter from the north who said it might be an idea to collaborate. i liked the idea of words on the idea of a photo city, but paint, that was different, how would the handwriting work outside of the organic digital, well.
Don’t forget he said it’s sometimes good to go driving with someone who doesn’t talk the ear off you. Dermot brought up the idea that maybe it was good to work with someone else when you don’t like working. Fair play when it came to painting those words on, he showed me the distance, the build up. It would bleed but no matter that sat well with me, Bleeding. Hang on what about the guilt and lonerism? what about it’s me and them and never ‘us’ …that wasn’t in the script. well maybe not. There was a calm in the studio at times, maybe when brothers don’tt talk they already know what they’re saying long before the laughing, the agreement.
The feeling was the next level is to go into printed paper photographs at a larger scale, on its side, upside down, a figure, a shape of a woman, maybe herself. paint on, destroy and repaint, then finally say something, text over. It wouldn’t have to be that either, it could be anything that happened but thats being brave, sometimes you need parameters. Paint can be a flash across the sky and into the water, its the sun through the eyelids that helps you through the gate to the next part of the dream. Maybe this dream I had of sleepy eyes herself. just brilliant white. walking and saying something to make it all ok again. “will I see you tomorrow?” with her bag and coat she slides and said under her huge breath from Drumcondra to Rathmines, “Maybe”