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Born 1970 (Limerick)

Dara McGrath is an Irish based photographic artist, living in Cork. His interest lies in exploring the transitional lives of spaces, those in-between places where architecture, history, landscape and the built environment often intersect, and where a dialogue – of absence rather than presence – is created. He is a graduate in photography and visual arts practice from the IADT, Dublin in 2005.
McGrath has been the recipient of the AIB Arts Prize, Solas Prize, RAC Photo Award, Remote Photo Prize, Europe Now Award, European Eyes on Japan laureate and major funding project awards from the Arts Council of Ireland and local authorities. He has also represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 2008. His photographs are held in many fine private and public collections.


Photography books by Dara McGrath

  • 2020 For Those That Can Tell No Tales (forthcoming 2020)
  • 2019 Project Cleansweep, Berlin: Brave Books (forthcoming 2019)
  • 2008 Deconstructing The Maze, Belfast: Tonic Books
  • 2005 Plantation, Dublin: Atelier Books
  • 2003 By The Way, Dublin, Atelier Books

Awards and honours

  • 2018 Remote Photo Prize, Ireland
  • 2018 Travel Funding, University of Kent, UK
  • 2016 RAC Photography Award, Ireland
  • 2015 Solas Prize, Ireland
  • 2012 Europe Now Photo Prize, Germany
  • 2011 Visual Arts Bursary, Arts Council Of Ireland
  • 2008 New Work Award, Arts Council Of Ireland
  • 2006 Visual Artists Bursary, Arts Council Of Ireland
  • 2005 Artist’s Bursary, Arts Council Of Ireland
  • 2004 Visual Artists Bursary, Arts Council Of Ireland
  • 2003 Allied Irish Banks, AIB Art Prize Ireland
  • 2003 Cork City Council Visual Arts Bursary, Ireland


Solo exhibitions

  • 2020 For Those That Tell No Tales, Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland
  • 2018 Project Cleansweep, Remote Photograph Festival, Donegal, Ireland
  • 2018 Project Cleansweep, The Library Project/PhotoIreland, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2018 Project Cleansweep, Sirius Arts Centre, Cork, Ireland
  • 2017 Project Cleansweep, Belfast Exposed, Belfast, Ireland
  • 2017 Project Cleansweep, Roscommon Arts Centre, Roscommon, Ireland
  • 2015 Edgelands, PhotoBienale, Museum of Photography, Thessalonika, Greece
  • 2003 By the Way, Draoicht Blanchardstown, Dublin, Ireland 1

Group exhibitions

  • 2017 Outposts: Global Borders and National Boundaries, Lewis-Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland
  • 2017 Format Photo Festival, Derby, UK
  • 2016 New Irish Works, Espace Lhomond, ParisPhoto, Paris, France.
  • 2016 New Irish Works, The Library Project Dublin, Ireland
  • 2016 PhotoSalon, Landskrone Photo Festival, Landskrona, Sweden
  • 2016 ‘What is Where if the What is Now’, Sternview Gallery, Cork, Ireland
  • 2016 Contemporary Irish Photography, FototHof, Salzburg, Austria
  • 2015 Solas Award Exhibition, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland


  • For Those That Tell No Tales (2019)
    For Those That Tell No Tales is a documentary photographic project that bear witness, 100 years after the Irish War of Independence to the sites where men women and children, both military and civilian, on opposing sides, lost their lives in Cork City. These spaces and places have been altered by a traumatic event. By photographing them, I am reinserting the person back into that fractured space, acknowledging their existence back onto the land, so that their histories are not forgotten.
    The war was a defining moment in the nations’ history. Between 1919-21, thousands of people died in the struggle for the recognition of an independent and free Ireland.2
  • Hidden Histories (2018)
    Hidden Histories is a community art project devised by the Glucksman Gallery to mark 100 years of Irish women’s right to vote. Through interviews with senior citizens from Mahon Community Development Project, Dara McGrath created a series of photographic portraits and a short film that invite us to reflect on individuals who lived in the spirit of the suffragettes, the progression of women’s rights, as well as the role of women in shaping Cork city. The portraits celebrate the storyteller as well as the story being told and are on display across the city for the month of May as part of the nationwide Bealtaine Festival.3
  • Project Cleansweep (2017)
    Project Cleansweep is a photographic survey and investigation into the legacy and landscape of the chemical and biological weapons program in the United Kingdom over the last century. Documenting over 80+ sites and focusing on 4 that were key sites/events. Using my own photographs, interviews, video, found and acquired objects, de-classified documents and images. I reveal the histories of these dark landscapes and what has become of them today.4
  • Edgelands (2011)
    The deserted spaces of the eastern and central European borderlands are spaces in flux. Devoid of border controls, they are no longer strategic points on a map, but neither fully blank spaces, they are spaces-in-between. This shifting of political positions in Europe, after centuries of conflict, to one of willingness to engage in dialogue and mutual interest and enlightenment
    In 2007, this process was further realised, when the countries of central and eastern Europe became fully members of the E.U.
    These borderlands, now reveal themselves as lonely half-way places, impotent of
    their one time political and social significance.5


Further reading


  1. Listed as 31 July–30 August 2003 in the VAI VAN Sep 2003, pg.3
  2. “On this site” Dara McGrath
  3. “Hidden Histories” The Glucksman
  4. “Dara McGrath unearths dark landscapes with Project Cleansweep” British Journal of Photography
  5. “Edgelands” Dara McGrath