Kerlin Gallery presents its first online viewing room with new work by Samuel Laurence Cunnane.
This body of work is accompanied by an e-book which includes a new essay, ‘Ambiguities’ by Brian Dillon, Professor of Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London. The book also includes a conversation between Samuel Laurence Cunnane and fellow photographer and friend Dorje De Burgh.
The Irish/French artist Samuel Laurence Cunnane’s new work deals in large part with the idea of the outskirt, what Brian Dillon refers to as “messy peripheries, the obscure edges of distinct places, sidelong glances instead of vivid or picturesque vistas”. The work for the most part has been made in the west of Ireland where Cunnane has used the backdrop of pebbledash, incessant damp, exotic invasive species and an ominous tone of an environmental threat to depict a world where the empty spaces on the fringes are overlooked, abandoned and increasingly contested. This idea of the outskirt is not just meant in the physical sense, such as the outskirt of a town or city, the outskirt of an economic or administrative zone but also the outskirt of our vision and consciousness. Cunnane’s photographs deal with what is on the periphery of our vision, the blind spot towards our surroundings and disconnect with the environment, and the existential unease that arises from such a blind spot.
Many of the works use cinematic techniques, be it framing, lighting or even particular ratios as a way of exploring this idea of the ‘landscape’ as pre-existing imagery in our minds inherited and projected upon the exterior world. Cunnane’s work uses analogue photographic techniques, printed by the artist. Cunnane remains highly connected to the physicality of the production process; in no small part influenced by the increasingly dematerialised nature of contemporary image making and dissemination.
Samuel Laurence Cunnane lives and works in Co. Kerry, Ireland. Recent solo exhibitions include: Boxes Museum of Art, Shunde, China (2018); Öktem Aykut, Istanbul (2017); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2016); THEODORE:Art, New York and Kerlin Gallery (both 2015). Projects and group exhibitions include: Shaping Ireland: Landscapes in Irish Art, The National Gallery of Ireland (2019); An Act of Hospitality Can Only be Poetic, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, Ireland (2018); Fortnightly Features Presents, Kerlin Gallery (2014) and the screening Portfolio, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2012).
In 2012, Cunnane worked in the Maysles Documentary Centre in New York, spending time alongside its founder, the celebrated American filmmaker Albert Maysles, to hand print his collection of documentary photographs.