Brendan Barry is a photographer, educator and camera builder, whose practice combines elements of construction, education, performance and participation. His work is mostly concerned with the transformation of different objects and environments into spaces capable of viewing and capturing a photographic image. Using the mechanics of the medium, he challenges the conventional understanding of the photographic apparatus as a means of inviting audience collaboration and exploration.
As for many of us during these uncertain times, walking has been a key respite for the artist, as well as a means of reconnecting with nature and discovering the beauty right on his doorstep. His most recent body of work, Wildflowers picked on walks with Bea, arose from his daily walks with his daughter. They started picking wildflowers, bringing them home and arranging them into still lives, which would be then captured using a camera and darkroom that Barry had constructed out of his garden shed.
The emerging series touches on many themes including: family, health & wellbeing, reconnecting with nature, exploration of personal space and appreciating one's immediate surroundings. By shooting directly on to photographic paper with a camera obscura and using a meticulously developed colour reversal method, Barry creates large scale unique works that are the results of a lengthy and laborious process in the darkroom. The photographs are hard to achieve, with successful exposure times sometimes taking up to eight hours. This time spent with the process of making is not only an opportunity to engage with artistry of analogue photography, but also a time of solitude and peacefulness to observe the bird song of the night and the various flora and fauna that had previously gone unnoticed.