Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting photographer Aissa Lopez. Aissa is originally from the neighbouring town of Youghal, but has recently been living in Sweden working on a masters. Her studies will take her to Iceland next and I am very jealous!
One of my favourite things about having Aissa in residence was getting to hear her family stories and childhood memories, as well as snippets of Youghal history. The settings in her stories are vivid and tactile-wallpaper, old hardwood floors, the shop where she helped her grandmother. It makes perfect sense that her work would be rooted in the domestic sphere, and informed by the details of its architecture.
If you use Instagram, you should really follow Aissa’s page. Scroll down a bit for shots from her residency. I’m in love with this one of our oddly shaped window as you head up to the studio:
In my current work, I have been using the house or home to explore nostalgia, memory, the uncanny and folklore. As a result I was delighted to be awarded the artist residency at Greywood Arts . It was built in 1767 and Jessica and Hughie have done much research on its history. Knowing this I expected to be inspired by the general character of such an historic building, what I was not expecting was to be utterly charmed by it.
As an artist who borders on obsessed with the domestic space and old buildings, I was struck by what individual character Greywood Arts has, due to it being preserved and added to by the current occupants. Nothing is standard, windows, doors and floors all vary. A dream for me, as I am an interested in these often-overlooked details in the background of our everyday lives.
I took hundreds of digital photographs, and some analogue, having become captivated by the light let in by the many different sized windows. An essential part of my process is photographing and drawing what I am interested in, from which I build in miniature, with paper, my interpretation of these details, spaces and/or rooms. This usually takes quite some time, but in the supportive, undisturbed atmosphere of Greywood Arts I have already constructed enough to begin photographing the recreations. I plan to make more work based on the amazing Greywood Arts’ building. I feel very lucky to have had the time here, the atmosphere Jessica and Hughie have created meant I was able to work and reflect on my practice. I leave very inspired.
We were so grateful to have Aissa share her unique process with everyone who came to the Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus show. It is really important to us that our local community understands what goes on here. We are all about process, with no pressure on artists to create a finished product. But with the special connection to the house, we’re hoping Aissa will share the fruits of her labour with us in the future!