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Ghosts appearing at Artstation in February

Ghosts appearing at Artstation in February

Visiting Irish photographer John Baucher brings his exhibition Islandmen Ghosts to the Artstation Gallery from 3-14 February. The eerie photographs explore the history of in the Belfast shipping docks in Northern Ireland.

‘Islandmen’ was the name given to the shipyard dockers who worked at Queen’s Island, Belfast. The Islandmen ghosts are actually wooden and iron wedges in a dry dock at the nearby Clarendon Dock. Once a bustling shipyard, Clarendon Dock is now in the centre of a business district. Baucher’s photographs ask how changes to local industry affect a community’s sense of place and belonging. They are enigmatic reminders of Belfast’s industrial heritage for present and future generations.

Baucher says: “By diffusing the images in the printing process, faces appear and the images take on a whole new meaning. It is as if the inanimate has become animate. I imagine the men who used to work here and think of them on cold winter mornings walking to the Island. I consider all the acquired knowledge and experience that is being lost and dispersed far and wide.”

Baucher’s interest in the shaping of local identity is evident in his art practice. He has worked with a wide range of communities in Belfast including the Jewish Community, disability arts and the homeless. His photographic book, The Living Quarter, was recently awarded Best Publication by the Northern Ireland Community Voluntary Association.

Some of Baucher’s arts projects extend beyond Belfast. While in New Zealand he will document a whanau reunion at a Whakaue Marae, Maketu. He plans to give children disposable cameras to record the event while he also documents the ceremonies and explores the connections between Irish and Maori communities.

John Baucher will give an artist’s talk at Artstation Gallery during the exhibition.

Islandmen Ghosts exhibition information: Photographer: John Baucher Exhibition: 3 February – 14 February 2004 Opening: 5 – 7 pm Tuesday 3 February 2004

Artstation, Auckland City’s community visual arts facility, is located at the old police barracks at 1 Ponsonby Rd, Newton. It is easy to get to by public transport with the Link’s ‘Artstation’ bus stop right outside.

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