In times of crisis, a kind of inertia can take place as if your world is suspended, lying in wait for something to happen or for things to change. Life comes to a standstill so to speak, frozen in time, unable to move forward, not knowing where to go from here. One coping mechanism is to tend towards creating order in our surroundings. However, the unpredictability of nature repeatedly undermines our attempts to control it. For the most part, we see the world not as it is but as we’d like it to be. That any moment now, things may change is an optimistic outlook that is held by many to help maintain ones sanity through uncertain times.
On her wanderings, O’Regan is frequently surprised by happenstance scenarios, ones that we often pass by – or they us – unnoticed or acknowledged. When she comes upon them, they strike her almost as if they have been staged, she documents these found slices of life and then moves on. All around she see eccentricity in the marks that we make and leave behind, borne out of our need to contain the unsettling open-endedness of our existence. Rather than being mere depictions of the banality of urban life, the photographs seek to dig deeper, tapping into our collective psyche by navigating the strange terrain of our inherent, yet futile, quest for absolute certainty.
Ethna O’Regan received her BA in Photography from the Dublin Institute of Photography in 2007. She had her first solo exhibition in the m3 Kunsthalle. Berlin in 2009. O’Regan’s work has been selected for several group shows in Ireland and the UK, the most recent of which being the Salon Art Prize in the MRA Project Space, London and Future Perfect, in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin. Her work can be found in private collections in Germany and Ireland. She lives and works in Berlin and Dublin.