These photos are a series of image blends called ‘Dark Days in Dubhlinn’, inspired by extracts from the poem ‘Dublin’, by the Northern Irish poet & playwright Louis MacNiece.
They demonstrate the ambivalence I feel towards the city for so many reasons, not least my upbringing. A journey which once took three hours on a single lane road, if you were lucky, now takes only one and half on motorway road most of the way. I remember the huge graffiti as you approached the old border checkpoint on the Dublin Road south which read, “We will never forsake the blue skies of Ulster, for the grey skies of an Irish Republic”. Yet as a teenager, I always found the things I was looking for much more easily there, and was, and am still, seduced by its ‘Georgian facades’, the palpable sense of history, and the cosmopolitan feel of the shops, restaurants and bar & café culture in the city’s central areas, compared to Belfast, the city of my birth and childhood. Yet Dublin is not my city, and never will be in any real sense, something I am reminded of every time I visit; it feels as much of a foreign city to me as many in mainland Europe, if not less so, because of the confusing love-hate mixture of jealousy, longing, familiarity and strangeness it so inspires in me.
All these images are shot and edited on the iPhone 5.