New Generation Gallery

Clara Scullion

MFA Photography, University of Ulster

New Generation Gallery

My distrust of the photograph formed at age eleven, when my own face was spread across the newspaper as a non-descript token of peace-building next to the grinning face of Ian Paisley, following a sectarian attack on the school I attended. The unease I felt in the representation of that moment, which I recalled entirely differently, motivates my work as an artist. Grounded in my perspective as a ‘cease-fire baby’ and as a woman living in a persistently religious and patriarchal society, my practice communicates the tension of what we have inherited in post-Agreement Northern Ireland. When asked if my photographic practice is akin to “picking at a wound”, it struck me that the phrase typically refers to a “scab”. A scab forms over the wound as it heals. In order to heal, a wound must be cleaned – which hurts. A wound left uncleaned, or with dressings unchanged, festers. My practice confronts what is healing and what is festering in Northern Ireland, and by extension, in myself.

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Do you remember
Can you forget
With selective sight
The inheritance
Of a heretic
In a Magdalene's Ulster