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Friday September 19th was ‘Culture Night 2014’ and in the Gallery of Photography, Dublin at 7 pm there was an Artist’s Talk on the current exhibition at the gallery. This exhibition is the ‘University of Ulster MFA Graduate Exhibition 2014’ (MFAphotoshow14, 2014) and runs from 6th – 21st September. On Friday night the artist Simon Burch introduced the work of the artists on show and discussed his own individual body of work.

Simon Burch addressed the work on show at the gallery from several perspectives. The first was from Stephen Shore’s idea of ‘the frame’, ‘choosing the moment’ and ‘a plane of focus’ (Shore, 2007). For example Tim Durham’s ‘After the Fact’ (Durham, 2014) comprising a series of silhouettes was considered to challenge the concept of a plane of focus.

Another perspective discussed was that of John Szarkowski in his essay ‘Mirrors and Windows’ (Szarkowski, 1978). Here Jim McKeever ‘dead time’ (McKeever, 2014) was considered to lie at the ‘window’ end of the spectrum while Bernard McNichol’s ‘Empty Portraits of Home’ (McNichol, 2014) lay towards the ‘mirror’ end.

The speaker Simon Burch’s work ‘Prospect’ considers how the landscape is viewed (Burch, 2014). There are no people in these photographs and Simon quoted Ansel Adams on landscape photography: ‘There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer’.

Finally Simon noted Kenneth O’Halloran’s (O’Halloran, 2014) work ‘The Handball Alley’ which was described as ‘conceptual photography’, a description which applied to much contemporary practice.


Burch, Simon (2014) Prospect. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/photographer/simon-burch/ (Accessed on 20.09.14)

Durham, Tim (2004) After the Fact. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/photographer/tim-durham/ (Accessed on 20.09.14)

McKeever, Jim (2014) Dead Time. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/photographer/jim-mckeever/ (Accessed on 20.09.14)

McNichol, Bernard (2014) Empty Portraits of Home. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/photographer/bernard-mcnichol/ (Accessed on 20.09.14)

MFAphotoshow14 (2014) Masters of Fine Art Photography Graduate Exhibition. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/ (Accessed on 20.09.14)

O’Halloran, Kenneth (2014) The Handball Alley. [online] At: http://www.mfaphotoshow14.org/photographer/kenneth-ohalloran/

Shore, Stephen (2007) The Nature of Photographs. New York: Phaidon

Szarkowski, John (1978) Mirrors and Windows. American Photography since 1960. New York: Museum of Modern Art