Leave No Trace
(2015-2016)

As a popular tourist destination on Ireland’s west coast, The Burren is renowned for its remarkable limestone landscape and its rare flora and fauna. Visitors to the area are reminded of the fragility of the local eco-systems and urged to leave no trace of their visit, to take nothing away only memories. While artist-in-residence at Burren College of Art in 2015, I was curious to reflect on the paradoxical nature of leaving no trace on a landscape that relied so heavily on a regular tourist footfall.

The work I made during that time made direct reference to the lurking presence of tourism in the region and considered the complexities of this picturesque landscape, that seemed too enticing to resist and almost too idyllic to photograph. In presenting this work at Burren College of Art Gallery and G126, Galway, viewers were invited to take away their own free image of The Burren via a specially designed tear-sheet block which mimicked the numerous free tourist maps regularly encountered during my time on residency there. As each of these sheets were removed by audiences, representations of the landscape began to slowly fade away, until gradually all physical affirmation of the topography disappeared. Leave No Trace is about ‘taking’ photographs, about appropriating visual souvenirs from a landscape that undeniably comes to life throughout their busy tourist seasons each year.

This work was shown as part of the 'Folding Landscapes' exhibition in conjunction with the Emerging Irish Artist Residency Award [EIARA] at Burren College of Art Gallery and G126 Gallery, Galway (2015 & 2016)







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