Gallery | An imperfect normality: daily life in Syria before the chaos

This retrospective exhibition gives a pictures of Syria before the outbreak of war in 2011

 

An Imperfect Normality is a retrospective exhibition of pictures by Tommie Lehane of a Syria that was. The work provides a poignant counterbalance to the stream of images of fleeing Syrian refugees dominating news images. Like dozens, and more, periods throughout Syria’s long history, the depicted time of peaceful existence is now past and consigned to the history books. Currently ravaged by war and chaos, it is hard to imagine a place that, to those who lived within its territory or who crossed its borders, it was a relatively normal place to be.

This work seeks to document a normality whilst hinting at its imperfections and considering the effect of war as a method of change.

The images are from 2005 and 2009 when the photographer visited initially as a tourist and on the second occasion staying in the house of a friend in a village. He was there for a few weeks for each period of shooting. 

Click the image to open the gallery

Al Hamidiyah village

The work is focused around the normality of life in a place where the obvious undercurrents have now resulted in the awful situation that now exists. Lehane had planned to return in 2012 to focus on the "Greeks of Al Hamidiyah", the village where some of these images were taken, but events overtook his plans and through war the Syria he had come to know no longer exists.

Lehane's practise is primarily centered on the exploration of place. Unusually, he has a dual focus on the Middle East and a small village, Castlegregory, on the Dingle Penninsula. Lehane has been widely exhibited in Ireland and Europe and also, at the start of 2015, in war-torn Aleppo, in Syria.

In 2014 Tommie Lehane was the recipient of the Alliance Française Photography Laureate. The exhibition runs in the Copper House Gallery Dublin from September 10th to September 25th.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.