In 2019 I lost four people in a short space of time. Within my Irish and Dutch families, in a matter of months, two children and two adults. With death arriving so close to home, I was invited to engage with what death, and thereafter meant to me.
Through grief, I came back to the old celtic idea of ‘Thin Places’, which are described as where the veil between this and the eternal world is thin or close by. Intrigued by the beauty of this idea, I created a series with images from both Ireland and The Netherlands, the birth countries of those family members who had passed away, as a way to negotiate my relationship to my sense of place in a time of grieving.
The tension between grief and moving forward with everyday life constricted my creative capacities for a time, and so this series is small in nature – a visual sonnet, which took the form of a book.
Embracing death within everyday life means going back and forth between what was before and what is now. A book format reflects the back and forth I felt between memory and lived experience, and being present in these moments of exhilarating light gave, and continues to give, space for moments of beauty and mystery in the daily journey, moving forward.
I am an Irish photographer based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I tell visual stories and work with themes of sense of place and identity, inspired by the beauty and mystery of the world around me.