Uinse (meaning Ash Tree in the Irish language), is a multidisciplinary project working with photography, text, sound and installation. The work comprises of two main parts. Part 1 is an urgent response to the devastating, yet under acknowledged impact of Ash Dieback in Ireland. Part 2 is an exploration into our idea of ‘nature’ and examines the role of photography within the formation of its contemporary character.
Ash Dieback is a fatal disease that has devastated Ash Tree populations across Europe. Seen in the context of the history of Ireland and the Anthropocene, the scope of Part 1 covers the adverse environmental and cultural implications of the loss of one of Ireland’s iconic native tree species. Drawing on extensive research into Irish place names and folklore, the work presents a comprehensible name to point to and recalls the rich history surrounding the Ash Tree.
Part 2 is a response to Timothy Monton’s book ‘Ecology without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics’ in which he argues that ‘to have a properly ecological view, we must relinquish the idea of nature once and for all.’ This work challenges the predominant assumption that photography is neutral and ‘nature’ is natural. It simultaneously reveals our fantasies about ‘nature’ and discovers and draws attention to the medium of photography itself; considering the camera as an active system controlling our vision, knowledge and experiences. As technical images increasingly affect our expectations about ‘nature’, the work strives to understand what the camera image is and what it is becoming.
Sarah Flynn is a visual artist with an interest in the urgent ecological issues of our time. Though primarily using photography she also works with text, video and sound. Her practice interrogates traditional notions of documentary photography by exploring the complex nature of photographic representation and questioning what the camera image is, and particularly as technology advances, what it is becoming. The visual strategies and aesthetics she adopts are always subject to the requirements of the current project; so concept and appearance are inextricably intertwined.
Her work is motivated by the power of art to move and convince an audience in ways that purely scientific knowledge cannot. She sees art as a forum for a unique and enriching experience, and a place that can be explored by all others according to their own parameters.
Flynn holds a BA (Hons) in Photography from the Dublin Institute of Technology. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally including RUA Annual, The Gallery of Photography, The Copper House Gallery, Alliance Franaise and Deiglan Gallery. Her work has been published by TLP Editions of PhotoIreland, Junior Magazine and Abridged Magazine amongst others. In 2018 she was awarded a scholarship from PhotoIreland to attend ‘How To Flatten A Mountain’ Residency at the Cow House Studios, which culminated in an exhibition at Rathfarnham Castle during the PhotoIreland Festival. She was also selected as artist in residence at NES Artist Residency in Skagaströnd, Iceland in 2017.