Tadhg Devlin is a photographer and lecturer in Photography at the Hugh Baird University Centre. Over the last few years, he has been working on collaborative projects with the community which are now being displayed at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.
The projects are named Bound/Frayed and Across the Kitchen Table (Who is the Community?). Bound/Frayed reflects a year-long project between Tadhg Devlin and various staff and people supported by the social care charity, Community Integrated Care. Together with Tadhg, they have been co-authoring images which represent the experience of working in the care sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst also celebrating the everyday work to support people who access social care, which often goes unseen by the general public. These powerful portraits capture an important moment of resilience and community spirit in our society, taken during particularly lonely and challenging times.
Tadhg has also been working in collaboration with people living with dementia in Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, to develop Across the Kitchen Table (Who is the Community?). The diagnosis of dementia seems to be a conversation-stopper to many in our society, but the images captured by Tadhg in this work, challenge that belief and demonstrate the importance of maintaining existing relationships, and developing new ones, following a diagnosis.
The Open Eye Gallery said: “The participants in this work spoke passionately about the importance of meeting others in the same position as themselves, their peers, and the transformational impact this could have on quality of life. They highlighted the many benefits of coming together to offer insight, share experiences, perspectives and the difficulties of some of the issues around dementia. Without these experiences, often in groups, many of these individuals would be isolated in their experience of living with the disease. Throughout the country, support offered post diagnosis varies greatly with many areas offering very little support whatsoever.”
Tadhg added: “It was such a great experience to try and show some of the different experiences from the participants involved, from those working in social care during the pandemic to members of a dementia group in Liverpool and how it has been a positive experience for many to share their thoughts and feelings as these difficult conversations often go unheard.”
Interested in photography and would like the opportunity to be taught by Tadhg? Visit www.hughbaird.ac.uk/subject-area/creative-industries to find out more.
Tadhg’s exhibitions will be running at the Open Eye Gallery until the 30th October, 2022