The photographs in Verges examine the potential for everyday resistance through the growth and habits of weeds. Attending more closely to our ordinary surroundings and appreciating the familiar undermines the capitalist desire for commodity and spectacle, for the exotic and dramatic. It is easy to feel so tightly constrained by grown-up concerns that we don’t have time to notice what we encounter every day. It becomes hard to see the opportunities for pleasure or plenitude lurking within them. Rocks and trees stop being forts, scraps of paper become just mess, and dandelions, goose grass and buttercups evolve from playthings into hostile invaders of our land.
These photographs aim to reclaim some of the freedom and creativity that weeds exhibit. They defy preoccupations with property and boundaries, growing wherever suits them, however untidy or inconvenient it is for us. Making use of tiny scraps of dirt to grow roots, weeds use ingenious ways to find spaces in hostile environments to thrive, teasing our desire for order and control. They suggest a view of nature as autonomous, rather than one in which it exists only to serve us. Observing and recording weeds offers a playful, life-affirming perspective that resists judgemental thinking about our everyday environment and invites us to experience it anew.
About the Artist
Clare Gallagher is a Northern Irish artist whose work focuses on the ordinary, everyday experiences of home. A photography lecturer since 2003, she teaches on the BA, MFA and PhD programmes at the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University. Clare is also an academic researcher and completed a PhD using photography and video to research the hidden work of home and family.
About the Publisher
About the Series
TLP Editions are an ongoing collection of contemporary photographic projects in the form of accessible and inexpensive publications by PhotoIreland. These A5 sized booklets present a standard format throughout the series, with 36 pages each, a cover with a text block of under 140 words that introduces the project, and the title and the artist name only available on the contra cover. The project creates a node of opportunities as it allows photographers to enter the publishing arena, while facilitating access to contemporary artistic practices to the general public.
About the Publisher
Founded in 2009, PhotoIreland was conceived as an organisation that would stimulate a dialogue around Photography in Ireland by developing a varied array of initiatives and events with a strong participative approach.