About PhotoIreland Festival 2018

In 2018, we are celebrating our 9th edition and we’re thrilled to bring to Dublin for the first time Internationally acclaimed work and new projects from contemporary Irish artists, workshops, Critical Academy seminars, launches, and talks!

This year, the festival presents the works of two photographers working on the subject of women’s rights, at a time when Ireland will vote in a referendum about issues concerning access to legal abortion. Launching the festival on 3rd May, at The Copper House Gallery, Laia Abril’s comprehensive work On Abortion, looks at the history and repercussions for women in the absence of safe and legal abortions – the first chapter of an extensive project A History of Misogyny. Alongside, Irish artist Sarah Cullen presents her work You Shall Have Exactly What You Want, exploring the experiences of pregnant women in Ireland who are faced with crisis pregnancies. In the lead up to the launch, The Politics of the Long Haul: Photography, Pro-Choice Artistic Practices and the Archive will be held in the Harry Clark Lecture Theatre of the National College of Art & Design, between 3-5pm, discussing the visual politics of the Pro-Choice movement, focussed on the work of three photographers: Laia Abril, Emma Campbell and Sarah Cullen.

Later in the month, we launch Moyross Study at The Library Project, by Irish photographer Jamin Keogh. Presented for the first time, Moyross Study is a sociological exploration of Moyross housing estate in Limerick. The project challenges the many stereotypes that surround the Moyross development by highlighting how despite the troubled history and the drastic topographical adjustments, a community still persists, and in some respects, even thrives.

The recently launched Critical Academy joins the festival for the first time, bringing a great selection of short seminars around key aspects of contemporary arts practice, aimed at developing and strengthening key skills and mindsets. From practical teachings, to cultivating critical mindsets, to discussions and contemplations on the current state of photography, the Critical Academy is held in participatory environments with clear and focused aims, facilitated by local and International professionals of the industry.

The festival residency How to Flatten a Mountain continues into its third year. Presented by PhotoIreland and Cow House Studios, the aim of this residency is for participating artists to explore possibilities outside their core practice, work collaboratively and produce a cohesive exhibition of work to be presented at the unique venue of Rathfarnham Castle.

The festival is divided in three sections: Main Exhibitions, the shows produced and curated by PhotoIreland Festival; Featured Exhibitions, selected relevant exhibitions that are produced and curated by other organisations; and the Open Programme, all the fringe exhibitions presented by individuals and organisations that add with their spontaneity to the festival flair.

Other events programmed will include the launch of Junior magazine’s third issue, entitled The Empathy Issue, and the launch of Daragh Soden’s latest publication Toulon. Fotobookfestival Kassel makes Dublin its first stop this year, so don’t miss the latest Photobooks from International photographers at The Library Project.

Sponsors & Partners

PhotoIreland Festival 2018 is made possible thanks to the kind grant aid support of the Arts Office of the Dublin City Council, who have demonstrated continuous support of PhotoIreland Festival and we are very thankful to them.

The main exhibition of Laia Abril has been kindly sponsored and printed by The Copper House Gallery, and the artist’s presence has been supported by the Instituto Cervantes in Dublin.

Inspirational Arts make this year possible with their continuous cornerstone support. Moyross Study and You Shall Have Exactly What You Want have been kindly printed by Inspirational Arts.

For the third year in a row, we also count on the support of The Office of Public Works and the staff at Rathfarnham Castle, where the participants of the residency How to Flatten a Mountain will present their projects. This is an exciting collaboration that connects a rural yet internationally connected organisation like Cow House Studios in Wexford, with the urban audiences at Rathfarnham Castle, all throughout the festival month.

A bit about the background of PhotoIreland Festival

Conceived in 2008, and celebrating its first edition in 2010, PhotoIreland Festival is Ireland’s first international festival of Photography and Image Culture, and the main festival dedicated to Photography in Ireland. It celebrates Ireland’s photographic talents – oftentimes only recognised abroad – as well as bringing international practitioners and artists to Ireland. The festival highlights, promotes and elevates Photography in Ireland – conferring on it the importance it duly deserves. With the motto “vibrant, friendly, all-inclusive: a festival for all to enjoy”, we set out to raise awareness on local and international photographers and artists working with Photography, and to underline the work of those organisations and individuals that for years have been promoting an engagement with the medium.

PhotoIreland receives grant aided support from the Arts Council of Ireland, and the Dublin City Council Arts Office to run the PhotoIreland Festival. The festival works closely with local and international organisations like the European Union cultural institutes, as much as with commercial partners, to deliver a high standard, remaining critical and looking for new challenges with each edition.

The festival has been celebrated every year during the month of July, and it will be celebrated now in May from 2017. Highlighting through a proposed programme, the works of national and international artists, the event brings together the energies of a wide range of artists, galleries and cultural institutions in a celebration of Photography, with many participative events for all types of audiences.

PhotoIreland Festival has always remained critical about what a festival does and how it does it, evolving its programme towards a more meaningful, inclusive and contemporary offering. Over the last years, we have gathered a lot of essential information and experience, plenty of mistakes and successes, and, slowly, the public will start to enjoy more of what PhotoIreland Festival really is.

Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed, and learn more about the previous editions celebrated in 201020112012, 20132014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and find out about 2018!