Photographs of County Wexford's wild northern landscape.
There are familiar themes in my photography and they are again on display in this exhibition; photographs shot into the light to lend maximum relief and drama, the dance of shadows and light revealing and obfuscating key elements, the tiny human adrift or at home (you decide) in a vast landscape.
I decided to make these photographs using medium format film and to make the prints using traditional darkroom methods. I feel that there is a qualitative and an expressive benefit to be gained by re-exploring these tried and trusted old ways. I prefer the immediacy of the filmed image and the manifest human presence in these hand made prints.
Shooting and printing using traditional methods is important to me. I have taught myself to be a photographer using fim, developer, fixer, selenium toner etc over the past 30 years. I am part chemist, part craftsman and part artist. I make no apologies for writing that digital photography, in my hands, is an inhuman, plasticising and inexpressive medium.
I love to make prints with not an empty highlight or a blocked up shadow. I want the richness and subtlety of the pictures to draw the viewer into the image and to look past the eyes of the photographer.
Cahore, County Wexford, Ireland 2009 by Pádraig Grant
I tried to make these pictures "beautiful" and expressive. Whether or not I succeed with this intention is the viewers' question to answer. But I hope that these are not photographs for record's sake; they should carry emotion and convey a message about the nature of our shared ancient landscape. That message is carried in our DNA and may not be expressed adequately with words. Hopefully one can sense it through these images.
The landscape of my home county is alive and ever changing. I love it. And as I have said, time and time again, "if you're not in love you can't make pictures".