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Absolutely no regrets

Following on the back of her relaunched exhibition No Queer Apologies, the supernaturally talented Niamh Barry has captured the images in a beautiful photobook.

The series seeks to challenge the heteronormative rules that have been imposed on space, the same rules that draw the boundaries of what is permitted and what is not. The photos are evidence of the “open mesh of possibilities, gaps, overlaps, dissonances and resonances, lapses and excesses of meaning” that queerness allows in defiance of the heteronormative rules.

No Queer Apologies explores how queer bodies occupy private and public (sometimes unsafe) spaces and, perhaps more importantly, it delves into how private and public queer experiences can overlap and intersect to create new spaces of self-expression.

“Like dark corners, these spaces are cloaked from public view and make private moments and acts of queer intimacy possible.” Indeed, the core idea of this project is that there is an infinite set of such possibilities and the artist’s wish is to be able to illustrate some of them.

Niamh Barry’s work as a photographer often focuses on capturing these moments that can go unseen. A self-taught photographer, Barry portrays Irish identities and the intimate moments of queer lives. With her work, she wishes to shed a light on how queer citizens defy traditional notions of Irish femininity, masculinity, or sexuality.

Along with her previous series, Queer Hearts of Dublin - a photo series of the lives of LGBTQ+ youth - these works are unique portrayals of lives and they are simultaneously a call for solidarity and for action.

To buy your own copy of the book, visit Hen’s Teeth, The Library Project, and on Niamh’s website. https:// niamhbarryphotographyvids.squarespace.com/

Like dark corners, these spaces are cloaked from public view...

The queer person can see their life as a work of art...

Photography Niamh Barry -No Apologies -Queer Spaces

Artist’s Statement

The guiding theme of this project is a belief in the boundlessness of the lived queer experience, in all its different manifestations. From how we dress, love, define and present ourselves to the heteronormative society.

The potential diversity of the queer experience is limitless- the queer person can see their life as a work of art, to be moulded and redrawn as they wish, in adherence to no pre-devised plan; but only one of their own making. This is true by definition; to embrace one’s queerness is to live life romantically, in opposition to convention and expectation, as a journey of self-realisation towards some point of attaining individual authenticity.

To be queer is still to live in fear; and in this state of apprehensiveness, possibilities contract. The imagination is stifled; the aspiration to self-realisation becomes overbearing. In spite of this, one must go on to imagine and represent the diverse array of forms queerness can take, in order to provide models for others to follow and to posit a different world for us to aspire to. For without this free imagination, unfettered from the weight of social deference and the need to either hide or apologise, there is nothing; the queer aspiration to authenticity dissolves into moribund complacency.

These images may be read as an attempt to realise this aspiration, by capturing several unique variations of unabashed queerness grounded in lived experience or memorable conversation. In bringing these different forms of queerness together, my purpose has been to reflect the rich diversity of queerness while at the same time acknowledging the duel sense of alienation and dissonance which is inherent to it. I hope these images are inclusive of some of the viewer’s experiences, and I humbly acknowledge their shortcomings.

Photography Niamh Barry -No Apologies -Queer Spaces

This article appears in the 372 Issue of GCN

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This article appears in the 372 Issue of GCN