Saturday, January 14, 2012

Archisle # 1

Archisle # 1, the first exhibition created by the Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme, hosted by the Société Jersiaise, features images responding to the theme of islandness by 21 International and Jersey photographers.

It is 'an experimental project.  Its method is to test the result of forming a lens based compound out of two main constituents: the concept of the photographic archive and contemporary expressions of 'island experiences'...

...Islands of fact and of fiction have surfaced in the submissions... islands of the earth and islands of the mind.'  

(from Archisle #1: An Introduction - by Gareth Syvret with contributions from Mark Le Ruez.)

There are some beautiful images in the exhibition.  From a ghosting through perspective, I am especially drawn to Cynthia O'Dell's Migrations: Legacies of the Irish Famine and a Family Record of Amnesia:

Cynthia O'Dell Migrations 

By transferring images from family archives and historical sources to transparencies and placing them in the landscape, by overlaying the past onto the present, her images are haunting and they evoke how personal history and the history of a place can intertwine and resonate in the present through memory and nostalgia, leaving echoes and traces. 

Her narrative is one of migration and dislocation:

'As a child, my family's narrative revolved around dislocation: lost homes, both owned and rented, and disrupted family dynamics, all layered over with a nostalgic longing for vague notions of Irish heritage.'

'By symbolically taking my ancestors back to their native country I attempt to complete the circle of their migration pattern...  I am trying to re-create my own family album in an impossible scenario and as a result I am inventing a new narrative.'

(Cynthia O'Dell, from Artist's Statement.)

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