On Friday evening I was at the Gallery of Photography for the opening of the Showcase Award finalists exhibition. This is the Gallery of Photography's open submission exhibition run in conjunction with Copper House in Dublin. As one of the judges on the award panel I was at the exhibition to have a look at the work, in the flesh, before casting my vote on who should be the overall winner.
The award is open to Irish photographers or photographers who have made work in Ireland. Additionally, through their involvement as judges, some of Ireland's leading curators are kept in tune with the latest trends in contemporary photography. Looking through the 180 submissions were, Anna O'Sullivan, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny (Commissioner to Ireland’s representation at Venice Biennale 2013); Christina Kennedy, Irish Museum of Modern Art; Helen Carey, Limerick City Art Gallery; Jackie Barker, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown; Karen Downey, Belfast Exposed; Leszek Wolnik, The Copper House; Maeve Mulrennan, Galway Arts Centre; Peggy Sue Amison, Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh; Sonya Perkins, Irish Arts Review.
Source has had links with all of the photographers in the exhibition. Ciarán Óg Arnold and Martin Cregg are in the current issue of Source, Alberto Maserin featured in issue 67, Summer 2011 and his work can also be seen as one of the selections on Graduate Photography online 2011. It was also good to see new work from Anne Marie Curran, whose graduate work appeared in Source issue 24 in 2000 and which then went on to be shown at IMMA. To complete the Showcase exhibition, and our links with the photographers in it, there was work by Richard Gilligan which will appear in our next issue (73), with a specially commissioned text by architectural critic Owen Hatherley (out in early January).
Tanya Kiang the Director of The Gallery of Photography took to the stage first to introduce Leszek Wolnik, from The Copper House, which sponsors the printing of the exhibition. Wolnik commented on the strength and vitality of the photographic sector in Dublin as driven by The Gallery of Photography, PhotoIreland and the individual photographers based in the city. The event was then formally launched by Donall Curtin, (instigator of the 5,000 Euro Photography Prize at the RHA Gallery Annual Exhibition, which this year went to David Farrell). Curtin is a collector himself and encouraged the audience to collect photographs themselves, beginning with the work in Showcase.
The announcement of the overall winner will take place at the International Symposium on Photography Collections & Collecting hosted by the Gallery of Photography on January 15. The exhibition runs until 27th January.