Paddy Kelly

2011 - 2013

These photographs are taken in locations that were used as IRA training camps during the 1970's in Northern Ireland. There is a political and emotional ambivalence to what at first seem to be natural landscapes as they exist today, but which have fragments and traces hidden beneath the visible surface, disappearing from the landmark yet still flowing through the collective memory - surviving on a latent, unseen level somewhere between stasis and change... between wanting to remember and trying to forget.

This project is an ongoing attempt to express and explore how personal experience can be communicated and to emotionally identify with my father about a past that has been withheld and suppressed. It asks how history is handed down from generation to generation, contrasting the "objective truth" of the photograph with the oral tradition of story telling - times and places become merged together with fragments of truth and multiple truths existing in one situation.

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  • People would think "Jesus, that's a terrible bloodbath". I just remember thinking it was a great operation

  • It's a sort of vicious circle

  • This path wouldn't have been here then

  • You can see that cycle of violence filtering through

  • You keep thinking was there any Troubles?

  • It's the perfect place to put a mine, stopping at this side of the mountain and waiting for them to come

  • Regret

  • You'd think you'd hear birds or something... there's no life here

  • The land of milk and honey