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Landscape as Witness - #2

Long overdue, this is the 2nd instalment of a blog keeping up-to-date with my current research project, 'Landscape as Witness'. As I returned from the latest field trip at the end of August, this blog will be summarising the events that took place between September and December.

The majority of work undertaken has been organising the large quantity of data that I had collected over the course of the 6-week field trip to North Clare. I maintained a blog throughout the duration of the trip, the first of which can be found here:

I had originally planned to collect as much data as possible, from photographic images and field recordings to ethnographic notes and recorded conversations. However, I hadn't quite anticipated the task of sorting through all this data on returning from the trip. Firstly, I had to go through a selection process of the many thousands of images that I took over the course of the 6 weeks, finally printing out 6x4 prints of a relatively smaller selection of 400 images. Upon doing so I began another selection process, this time observing what images worked particularly well together, as well as what images worked best on their own. This ongoing process can be seen below:

I have also begun transcribing the various informal interviews that I conducted, with 3 out of 6 having been completed so far. Again, I definitely underestimated the time that it takes to transcribe a 30 minute conversation, and I have yet to get started on the conversations that lasted closer to an hour in length. It is essential to transcribe the interviews whilst going through the selection process of the images, as I envisage various quotes taken from the interviews to be displayed alongside certain images. This is also the case with the ethnographic notes taken during the field trip, hence why I have since digitised those notes that did not end up becoming part of a blog.

In terms of the thesis I have just completed the draft of my 3rd chapter, which conveniently explored the methods conducted during both field trips. I should have more finalised versions of the first three chapters completed by the end of this month, before then moving on to the remaining chapters.

Vera Ryklova, 'Aesthetic Distance', Triskel Arts Centre

Aside from that, I have also been able to attend various events since returning to the east coast, such as Richard Mosse's talk on his new project 'Heat Maps' at the Gallery of Photography, Audrey Hendry's performance/talk on her work completed during a residency at The Darkroom in Dublin, Vera Ryklova's 'Aesthetic Distance at the Triskel Arts Centre, and 'Proverbs' by Robert Ellis at Rua Red. From now on I will be able to post about such events on Instagram/Twitter as they happened.

Robert Ellis, 'Proverbs', Rua Red (Photograph by Pearl Phelan)

All going well, I should be attending an international congress entitled 'Colonial and Postcolonial Landscapes', which takes place in Lisbon from the 16th-18th of January. More details on that, as well as further updates on the project itself, will follow shortly.

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