A town of many faces: Carrick through a camera

The photographic project ‘Faces of Carrick’ was born from a lengthy creative rut. The idea was simple: to record and to get to know the faces of my home town, Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary

Richard Avedon, the famous American portrait and fashion photographer, once said that “all photographs are real; none of them are the truth”. He recognised that the portrait is all about surface, and that we can only truly say of a portrait “this is how the person looked under a very particular set of circumstances”.

The circumstances of this project are as follows: a back room in a small theatre in an Irish provincial town, in the heart of winter. The set is very much like a stage. A spartan black background hangs in front of watercolour paintings of pastoral scenes. A single stool sits on a polished wooden floor; a single harsh light delineates the sitters’ faces. Into the space step the retired schoolteacher, the young mother, the salmon fisherman, the poet, the carpenter, the boatman, the entrepreneur, the musician.

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