Altered ground

Dianne Whyte’s images elevate the mundane and the overlooked with a sublime grace, writes Stephanie McBride

Dianne Whyte Construction Hoarding archival photographic print, printed on Hahnemühle fine art photo rag paper 60 x 90cm


Dianne Whyte’s new body of photographic work explores the landscapes undergoing extensive development in Cherrywood, Carrickmines, Lehaunstown and Sandyford in south Dublin. Recently shown at the dlr LexIcon gallery in Dún Laoghaire, the images of office parks under construction emerge from her experience of prolonged research on foot in these areas.

In much of Whyte’s work a central theme is how spaces are both in a state of flux and overlooked – evoking the haunted calm of a disused institutional building (her ‘Grange Gorman’ project, 2004-5), or the charged stillness of the trap rooms hidden below theatre stages, or the rejuvenation of the Italian city of Matera (in ‘Utopia: Transpose’, a work in progress). This latest project, for which she received the dlr Visual Art Commission, takes her into fresh terrain – the need to ‘work photographically to avoid ending up with a series of images of mundane building sites and half-built office blocks’.

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