Kate Nolan

LACUNA looks at the contemporary experience of borders in flux through an engagement with the landscape and inhabitants of the small village of Pettigo. Pettigo straddles the border between Donegal and Fermanagh, the Republic and Northern Ireland and in the near future, between Europe and the UK.

The border is marked by the River Termon flowing through the centre of town. Two bridges allow you to cross from North to South and at some points you just step across and do not even realise you have entered another country.  Expectations of what a border town would be, with heightened tension and strong divides, is invisible. Looking at the land and its people where do the real divisions lie? Following the river, questioning the artificial construct of a border, and the wider implications of this for its inhabitants.

What is this physical space? A lacuna, a cavity in understanding, a landless land.

Through the use of still and moving images, recorded stories of individuals from both sides of the border and an original score, this work examines the concept of these man made divisions, and their lasting impact on the psyche of the land and its people.


Kate Nolan is an Irish visual artist specialising in extended photographic stories that examine the nature of identity within “in-between” spaces. Intrigued by the effects of shifting histories and unknown narratives within these spaces, she collaborates with communities to uncover and voice their personal circumstances. Through combining her images with the individual’s narratives, Nolan builds stories that highlight latent contradictions and the tenuous relationships between political borders and cultural identity.
Nolan’s work has been featured in a wide range of photography publications and exhibited in solo and group shows in Ireland and internationally. In September 2014 she published an artist’s book of her long-term work, Neither, which explores the dreams and fears of women in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. Neither won the Magnum Award 2015, the Alliance Francaise Award 2013 and was nominated for Best Photobook at Foto Book Kassel 2015.Neither has been exhibited in 2015 at Belfast Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Photo London and Kassel. Nolan’s work is held in public and private collections in Japan, USA, France, Portugal, Mexico, UK and Ireland.