AKA Fringe Festival 2016 | Week One

The first week of AKA Fringe is coming to an end, with another week to go and Kilkenny Arts Week starting today. After hanging my pieces from An Uncommon Beauty and dropping by to do a KCLR interview, I stayed a couple of days in Kilkenny. 

 
 

This year's AKA programme is packed with events (almost all of which I am missing by being back in Dublin!) and a real credit to the organising committee and the City itself. 

My images had a great reception from what I saw and heard first hand and hopefully they're being well received in my absence. I was asked some great questions about the work, the women and about alopecia in general. The work is not for sale and by being exhibited, they are fulfilling their purpose as well as my own brief. 

I left a sample book there, which was back and forth from the shelf while I was in the venue, giving people and opportunity to see all of the images in print. Many people were and are familiar with the images of course but seeing this selection framed and printed by the amazing guys at Inspirational Arts is no comparison to seeing them online of course.

Old Mill Pictures created a week #1 wrap up video of the Festival (you can find me at 1':51" if you're quick!). 

 
 

Spin 1038

A nice surprise today, to be called by Dublin's Spin 1038 to speak live on air about An Uncommon Beauty.

This was as a result of Spin Talk doing a feature on Alopecia today, which was great, with varied callers, male and female and of all ages. 

It seems they saw the piece on Journal.ie but it was great timing with the work currently being exhibited in Kilkenny. 

Time was short and I tried to cram as much as I could into the interview but of course it is something that I could talk about forever and there is never enough time!

KCLR 96fm

On Friday, 22nd July I had the pleasure of speaking with John Masterson on KCLR96fm  ahead of Alternative Kilkenny Arts, 28 July to 14 August. 

I was interviewed about my work, An Uncommon Beauty, a subject I've naturally spoke a lot about. John, a very experienced journalist, was great, welcoming and made very relevant points and asked some good questions. 

The radio station gave away a copy of my An Uncommon Beauty  book (hardcover), so congrats to the winner wherever you are!

I've no trouble talking about the work or my experience around it but being live on air is something that you have to both be aware of and forget at the same time!

Thanks also to producer Eimear who put the morning together.

An Uncommon Beauty / International Women's Day

I had the pleasure today of sitting in with Paddy, one of my An Uncommon Beauty sitters, for an interview with Sean Moncrieff on his Newstalk radio show.  

It was very apt that Paddy had the opportunity to speak about her personal experience of alopecia on International Women's Day. She presented a very honest but positive account of living with alopecia, in sync with my work's own aims.

Every woman to whom I spoke about alopecia had their own unique account and experience and even today, I continued to learn.  Audio below.

with Sean Moncrieff [Newstalk] and Paddy [An Uncommon Beauty]

with Sean Moncrieff [Newstalk] and Paddy [An Uncommon Beauty]

Larging it up

A nice surprise this morning! I asked a security guard to take my photo, although she freaked, thinking that I wanted to take her photo! I'm not a huge fan of being in front of the camera either, which generally shows. Still, couldn't let this go by. 

A book containing all the images is available for purchase, in two formats, on my publications page. 

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International Alopecia Day #2

Just back from a great day at Roches - Positive Appearance and Well Being to take part in their International Alopecia Day event. There were makeup sessions, Indian Head Massages, Embrowdery, prizes and competitions. Anne Roche and her great team pampered us all for the day and together with Bianconi's, kept us fed and watered on what turned into a warm, sunny afternoon here in Dublin.

As part of the day, I showed my An Uncommon Beauty work, which I projected large onto a stairwell wall and was also able to informally present my framed prints and books to those who attended.

Shortly before lunchtime, I gave a talk about the project i.e. the process and my own personal experiences and learning. It made me realise that the project is still quite fresh and that I need to spend a little time to reflect upon everything I went through. Equally, that despite the fact that the actual shooting is over, the project itself is somewhat ongoing.

I had only finished mentioning John Berger, men act and women appear, the male gaze etc. and as Berger says:

You painted a naked woman because you enjoyed looking at her, put a mirror in her hand and you called the painting “Vanity,” thus morally condemning the woman whose nakedness you had depicted for you own pleasure (1973, p51)

etc., when I popped into a little newsagent next door to be greeted with the following sight (men act and women appear). It is always interesting to see how men and women's hands (in particular) are presented and positioned on the cover of glossy magazines:

 

A great day and the first, but not the last International Alopecia Day event at Roche's.

Thanks to Anne and her team for allowing me to be part of the day and to those who attended, sat and listened to me - but more importantly, questioned me. 

Berger, J. (1973) Ways Of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Corp.

International Alopecia Day #1

I have been asked by Roches - Positive Appearance and Well Being to take part in their International Alopecia Day event, tomorrow Saturday, 1 August, at their Merrion Gates Clinic. You can read more about International Alopecia Day here

It's going to be a great, fun and positive day with Makeup sessions, Indian Head Massages, Embrowdery, Prizes and Competitions, Face-painting for children, refreshments and finger food. The event runs from 11am until 3pm and I know that Roches have put a lot of work into the preparations. 

As part of the day, I will be showing a project of my 36 final images that appear in An Uncommon Beauty, the book, as a projection, along with a number of framed prints from the project. 

Furthermore, I will be giving a talk about the project's process and my own personal experiences and learning.

I will also be at hand to take photographs for as one of Ireland’s contribution to this year's AlopeciaWorld video montage. An update to follow after the event!

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D-Light Studio/Photo Ireland

Between the 26th and 28th of July, D-Light Studios presented over 40 photographers as part of PhotoIreland Festival 2015 and I was there with my An Uncommon Beauty project.

The exhibition officially kicked off on Sunday, July 26th with live DJs and the D-Light Cafe kept us all sweet with a steady supply of free doughnuts from the Polish Traditional Bakery Dublin. A very exclusive instalment of a 'Tenx9' Storytelling event (9 people took 10 minutes to tell a true story on the theme 'Snap', with all stories being about a chosen photograph.

Canon Ireland undertook a sponsored portrait session with complimenary Älska cider served on the opening night. All kinds of photography on view, with 'something for everyone', as they say and lots of very creative display methods and presentations.

I received great feedback on my work, with lots of people leafing through the pages of my book, as well as asking me about the process and subject matter. It was a great chance to chat to other photographers and artists too, as well as with members of the public.
I guess you'd say I had a D-lightful time *groan*.