All posts tagged: Belfast

Crossing the Peace Walls of Belfast with Josh Adam Jones

“People might not have a lot, but they will give you what they can. That’s true of so many Irish people. They’re a very warm and friendly and welcoming people. They will tell you stories and their lives and give you their time.” Josh Adam Jones, a student at the University of West England, Bristol, developed his project 99 Peace Walls whilst volunteering at Belfast’s photo festival this summer. The youth of the city helped him to understand the divides that are still ingrained into the culture there, and how, in spite of this, there is a warm community to be found throughout the city.

2017-09-12T10:41:16+00:00

Chad Alexander’s Entries to Northern Ireland

From the dimly-lit back alleys of Belfast, right into the interiors of its inhabitants’ homes, Chad Alexander’s graduation project Entries takes us on a reflective journey through the streets where he grew up. The 27-year-old first picked up a camera after seeing an exhibition that combined scenes of the Northern Ireland conflict with vignettes of daily life; he has since been developing his own take on documentary in this series. “It was work that I had always wanted to make, but until that point I wasn’t exactly sure how to approach it,” he explains.

2017-07-21T10:54:53+00:00

The traditions, biases and ranks inside modern British military spaces

Over 2014, Ross Young photographed the military barracks near his home in Belfast. Driving to work in the morning, the 25-year-old would pass the barracks, seeing scattered buildings beyond barbed-wire walls. “I became really fascinated by the modern military,” he says. “What they do, how they have changed, who they are, what they stand for now.”     The nephew of a lieutenant colonel, he gained access to the barracks and photographed everything: portraits of the soldiers, the buildings, beds, dorms, gyms and churches. But it was the communal eating areas that held his gaze. “Everything is split by rank. The junior rank, middle rank and officers each have their own spaces, and each one is visibly different,” he says. “They had such an impactful personality. They revealed so much to me about life in the Army. It shows the difference in the ranks; what soldiers have to go through to work their way up.”     He was born in Killyleagh, a suburban area to the south of Belfast, and now lives in the …

2015-11-26T17:57:11+00:00

Injecting joyful chaos into the spaces hidden within abandoned Irish cottages

“The interventions are intended as a fresh approach to subject matter that would otherwise be considered nostalgic,” explains Belfast-based photographer Jill Quigley, describing the work she’s been making in abandoned buildings in Ireland. The project came about when she sought a subject to work on during her master’s degree at the University of Ulster in Belfast, whose Photography MFA has gathered much recent praise. “I was drawn to the contradiction between contemporary lifestyle and all the historical aspects that linger in rural places, such as the area where I grew up in County Donegal,” she explains. “When I was walking around looking for inspiration, I came across many of these little abandoned houses. The problem was that the kind of imagery associated with places like these purports to document a disappearing way of life, and that wasn’t something I wanted to replicate. By painting things or throwing [something] the moment I took the photograph, I aimed to emphasise the present tense. Thankfully, due to the redundant nature of the spaces there was no need to …

2015-08-11T14:26:41+00:00

James Nachtwey – The Improviser

James Nachtwey stretches his arms across the sofa and pauses to think. He’s just declined to answer whether he ever has nightmares, and now he’s fielding a question that every war reporter has faced; has he ever truly feared for his life? He recalls covering the civil war in Sri Lanka. He was embedded with one of five rebel groups, but the Tamil Tigers, the main insurgent group, were taking out their opposition one by one. He was on an island off the Jaffna peninsula, hiding out. The position was being over-run, and the native New Yorker was completely isolated, unable to get out. He found a Catholic monastery, and hid. In a church in outer Sri Lanka, he found a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and he read it. He stayed there for three weeks, trying to focus on Shakespeare, until he found the chance to escape back to the mainland and to safety. “That was the first time I really thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Nachtwey says, his voice even. “Parts of my life I’d thought I’d …

2015-08-21T13:25:48+00:00

Rachel Glass – The Domestic Aviary

A streak of neon-bright green files among the domestic clutter of a small British living room. The fancy bird chooses its perch between the sofa, the flat screen TV, the mantlepiece and the closed window. The bird is indigenous to the forests of Venezuela, Colombia and Guyana, but it is here, in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, playing a starring role in Rachel Glass’ series The Domestic Aviary. “Confinement or sanctuary?” Glass asks, as the birds fly through “the looser confines” of the contemporary domestic home, in all its tastes. “How much freedom do we actually have, and how much we can invest in it?” In the corner sits the bird’s cage. She has caught them, wings stretched mid-flight, or appraising their horizons, preparing to fly in a larger cage. “We as people can fly as far as we want,” the 21-year-old Glass says.  “But are we confined or constrained by our own lives and commitments?” In her eyes, these birds are metaphors: “Of our own conscious understanding of freedom, in all its limits and possibilities.” Glass grew up in the countryside around …

2015-04-17T13:29:56+00:00

BJP Staff