As part of an initiative supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, Dublin City Council and curated by Gallery of Photography Ireland, five talented artists were commissioned to produce new artworks that creatively respond to the theme of ‘diversity’ in Dublin city. The commissioned artists are Ala Buisir, Tessy Ehiguese, Tobi Isaac-Irein, Jialin Long and Mandy O’Neill.
Their striking photographs will be presented to public audiences through an outdoor exhibition on digi-panels, metropoles and bus shelters across Dublin city for a two-week period from June 28. All the photographs can be viewed on www.dublin.ie/diversity
Over the past five months, these photographers have deeply engaged with diverse Dublin communities, creating exciting new connections between the artist, local communities, and the city. The commissioned projects reflect the dramatically changed social and cultural landscape of our capital city as we approach the centenary of the foundation of the State.
To actively engage with communities throughout the city, these public displays will serve as the starting point for conversations about the increasingly diverse nature of Irishness and as a celebration of that diversity, showcasing Irish people of all different backgrounds and identities. As the culmination of this commission, the public campaign is intended to make the new inclusiveness of contemporary Ireland visible so that everyone feels seen and recognised as a vital presence in our capital.
A portfolio set of the commissioned works will be produced and held by the new National Photography Collection at the Gallery of Photography Ireland. This permanent record of contemporary Dublin at a pivotal point in our history will form an important legacy for the future.
About the Commissioned Projects:
Irish-Libyan photographer Ala Buisir documented the Muslim community that has been in Ireland for longer than 20 years. Using the family portrait genre, the work shows how they have made their lives here and highlights what they have brought to Ireland from elsewhere.
Nigerian-born Tessy Ehiguese used her Diversity Commission to acknowledge the professional and entrepreneurial contribution that ethnic minority communities make to Dublin City. She focused on the Asian and African diaspora working in Dublin City centre.
Photographer and digital artist Tobi Isaac-Irein drew on his own creative community to focus on the stories that artists, originally from the African Diaspora, experience when growing up in Ireland. The work explores how this new generation of artists have integrated their traditional upbringing, beliefs, and ideas into Irish culture, and how this process has culminated in a hybrid cultural identity that is shaping their creative output and that of the wider community.
Chinese-born photographer Jialin Long used her Diversity Commission to challenge the stereotyping of the Chinese community in Ireland. In her work, she concentrated particularly on how the association of Chinese people with restaurants and takeaways inhibits a more nuanced understanding. Jialin collaborated actively with those photographed, to build a deeper and more expressive series of portraits of this diverse but under-represented ethnic community.
Fine art photographer Mandy O’Neill worked with a group of girls aged 15-18 of different nationalities, all based in Dublin city. The work considers the concept of ‘diversity’ and the everyday experience of these young women in the context of the environment they live in.