Róisín White is a visual artist based in Dublin, working primarily with photography, while incorporating drawing, sculpture, and collage into her practice. Róisín holds a BA (hons) in Photography from DIT, and certificates in Ceramics, Sculpture and Drawing from NCAD.
White’s photographic practice draws on storytelling, using found material and folklore to reimagine our shared histories and experiences. Her expanded practice is currently focused on critically engaging young people with the medium of photography.
Bio & Career
White has exhibited her work in Ireland and across Europe, including the Finnish Museum of Photography, PhotoIreland Festival, and the Capa Centre, all in 2019. She was selected to represent PhotoIreland at Futures Photography platform, to take part in Parallel European Photography Platform in 2018/9. Her project “Lay Her Down Upon Her Back” was selected for the third edition of New Irish Works in 2019, and the Blow Photo Fuse Photobook Residency. White was selected to take part in residency programmes, How To Flatten A Mountain residency at Cow House Studios in 2017, In-Between Shores residency with Ardesia Projects in Italy in June 2018, and currently “Flâneur ao Centro” with Procurarte in Portugal. White was the Emerging Artist in residence at The Darkroom in Dublin (2018/9). White has received funding from the DLRCC Arts Office, a bursary from the Dublin City Arts Office, and YPCE project funding from the Arts Council of Ireland.
Róisín has work in the OPW Collection, the Arts Council Collection, as well as private collections
Awards and honours
- 2020, Awarded the Young People Children and Education (YPCE) Arts Council of Ireland Grant.
- Shortlisted for Dublin City Council/Creative Ireland Diversity Commission with the Gallery of Photography.
- 2020, March – May, Mentorship (Online) with Futures/Fotofestiwal Lodz
- (November 2019) Residency – Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig Bursary awarded by Dublin City Arts Office.
- 2019, Third round finalist (top 6%) Foam Talent Award.
- 2019, Winner of the BlowPhoto Fuse Photobook Residency.
- 2018/9, Awarded the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Emerging Artist Grant, to produce new work for exhibition.
- 2019, Residency – Cow House Studios Open Residency February.
- 2019, Selected for the third edition of New Irish Works 2019, supported by PhotoIreland.
- Shortlisted for the PHMuseum 2018 Women Photographers Grant.
- November 2018 – April 2019, Residency: Emerging Artist Residency at The Darkroom, Dublin
- 2018, September Selected artist to participate in cycle 2 of Parallel Photo Platform, showcase launching at Organ Vida Festival in Croatia.
- 2018, September, Selected to represent PhotoIreland at Futures Photography Event at Unseen, Amsterdam.
- 2018, May/June, Residency: In-Between Shores, Cascina Ronco, Daverio, Italy, (supported by Ardesia Projects, Witty Kiwi, and JEST Gallery)
- 2017, April/May, Residency: How to Flatten a Mountain, Cow House Studios, Wexford, Ireland, as part of the PhotoIreland Festival.
- 2015, Finalist in the Inspirational Arts Photography Award.
- 2020, (Postponed to 2021) These Dark Shapes, Pallas Projects, Dublin
- 2019, Cross the Child’s Palm with Silver, The Darkroom, Dublin
- 2018, Lay Her Down Upon Her Back, The Library Project, Dublin
- 2020, Halftone Print Fair, The Library Project, Dublin
- 2019, The Light from Our Side Shines Differently, Parallel Review, Lisbon, Portugal
- 2019, thing, aura, metadata, a poem on making, Parallel Review, Lisbon, Portugal
- 2019, Out of Sight: Picturing the Unseen, Parallel Review, Lisbon, Portugal
- 2019, Halftone Print Fair, The Library Project, Dublin
- 2019, Zeitgeist, Robert Capa Centre, Budapest, Hungary
- 2019, New Irish Works – Museum of Contemporary Photography, Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin
- 2019: thing, aura, metadata, a poem on making, Printworks, Dublin Castle, Dublin
- 2019, Out of Sight, Picturing the Unseen, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
- 2019, RHA Annual Exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
- 2019, See Crimson I See Red, Elizabeth Fort (Tactic Galleries), Cork, Ireland
- 2018/9, (Untitled) Landscape, OPW Touring Exhibition, various locations.
- 2018, Futures Talent Pool at Unseen Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 2018, Parallel Showcase at Organ Vida Festival, Zagreb, Croatia
- 2018, The Sky Opens Twice, Daverio, Italy
- 2018, The Sky Opens Twice, JEST Gallery, Turin, Italy
- 2018, Family of No Man, Arles, France
- 2018, Unspoken, The Stash Gallery, London
- 2018, Junior Magazine @ Osman Suite, The Gallery of Photography, Dublin
- 2017, Halftone, The Library Project
- 2017, How to Flatten a Mountain Residency Exhibition, Rathfarnham Castle, PhotoIreland Festival.
- 2017, CEAD Exhibition, National College of Art and Design.
- 2015, Inspirational Arts Photography Award Exhibition, Inspirational Arts Gallery, Dublin
- 2015: Lift Off – DIT Graduate Exhibition, DIT Grangegorman, Dublin
- 2015: BA Photography Graduate Exhibition, National Photographic Archive, Dublin
- 2015: Artists Among Us – Project Nepal- The Back Loft, La Cathedral Studios, Dublin
- 2015: Deadly, The Chocolate Factory Creative Community Gallery, Dublin
- 2014: BERLIN: The Photocopy Club, Urban Spree Gallery, Berlin
- 2014: Fighting Stereotypes, Bell and Pot Cafe, Dublin
- 2013: Myriad, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios. Dublin
- 2012: Open Your Eyes, Little Green Street Gallery, Dublin
- 2012: The Photocopy Club, London
- 2012: The Photocopy Club, Brighton
- 2012: Group Show, U-Bar, Dublin
- 2012: Homeless Gallery, D-Light Studios, Dublin
- Cross the Child’s Palm with Silver (Year)
‘Cross the Child’s Palm with Silver’, a blessing of good fortune for the new-born child. A piece of metal stitched into the child’s baptismal garment as means for the child to protect itself from being taken by the fairies and changeling left for the mother.
In Irish folk tradition there is a deep anxiety around pregnancy and childbirth, which was rooted in the many unknowns and risks associated with pregnancy in an Ireland before modern medicine. The myth and folklore that surrounds women and their offspring tends to be connected to the need to protect them from harm and essentially try and secure that they grow up to be healthy and “normal”. Many stories perpetuate the creation of “the Other”, an otherworldly explanation for a child that was different.
In Ireland the Changeling myth is ever present in the early weeks, months, and even years of a child’s life. The fear that a mother might take her eyes off her new child for even a moment and in that time the child would be swapped for a changeling, a fairy child that looked and sounded like the real child. But soon they would notice differences, changelings tended to be sickly children, distressed and upset, often malformed and disfigured. The parents would have to try and “trick” the changeling to reveal its true nature, and if they suspected that the child was a changeling, they would often try and kill it to try and have their real child returned. Changelings were usually killed by burning or drowning. Changelings were usually male children, but adults could also be taken.
‘Cross the Child’s Palm with Silver’ examines the folk tradition in Ireland from fertility and conception, to pregnancy, childbirth and the protection of young children from harm from spirits or otherworldly interference. The folklore is deep rooted in sympathetic magic, stories told and customs followed in order to protect from real risks. Fire was seen as a cleansing, the flames would rid the land or being of evil. Ritualised burning, as well as fires lit as protection were common. To banish a spirit from your home you would declare that it’s homeland, a fairy fort, was in flames- “the fairy forts are burning, the fairy forts are burning”.
The project is an exploration of Irish Folklore and the artist’s fascination with the “root” of the magic, by trying to understand why we tell these stories as a way to try and dispel her own fear of what surrounds the stories.