Friday, February 24, 2012

Memories of Paris

Reviewing Prints from Paris in my Studio (© Roseanne Lynch)

In March of last year I won the first Alliance Francaise Photography Award. Part of the prize was a 2 week stay at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris. I decided to be there during Paris Photo back in November, and to put the prize money towards the 3 day Lens Culture Portfolio reviews.

I have put off writing this blog as I really didn’t know what words to use – and on my return to real life it took time to digest the experience. I underestimated the power of two weeks alone with my artist self, - no domestics, no responsibilities to others, just me, artist me.

The portfolio reviews were intense, encouraging and exhausting. You had up to 5 x 20minute reviews each day, a bit like speed dating without the humour (I imagine!) I was told that my work is very Czech avant garde.

Paris Photo, at Grand Palais, was 3 days surrounded by photography. I saw so much work originating in 5”x4” film, negatives scanned and printed huge, and lots of really interesting non lens based work that challenged the bounderies of what photography is, or can be.

Having spent the previous 3 days in the company of the same group of reviewees, who all had free passes to the first day of Paris photo, I was swanning about saying hello to every second person. It was like being on Patrick Street on a Saturday, stopping for coffee breaks with fellow survivors!

I also made a small series of photos while I was in Paris using my Rolleicord, so when I got home I had the pleasure of processing 14 rolls of film, and days and days in the darkroom printing. The bliss of Paris kept alive.

Yesterday I was at a talk in the Glucksman Gallery UCC, by artist Nick Miller, and he was talking about the experience of painting. He described feeling truly alive when making his art. That is what Paris felt like. Two weeks of being fully alive. And that feeling lasts into the darkroom, and into the studio where I sit looking at the images lined up on the shelf and swim in them a while.

Photos taken at the Musée de la Sculpture en Plein Air
Marino di Teana (1920-), Structure architecturale, 1973 © Roseanne Lynch

Photos taken at the Library of the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris © Roseanne Lynch

Photos taken at the Université de Paris © Roseanne Lynch

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