In the early summer of 2012, Ackroyd & Harvey made a site visit to the island of Litir Meallain in Connemara, Co Galway. Wild coastal islands scattered with boulders, bungalows and deserted cottages seeping back to the land made an impression and gave rise to the idea of planting a semi-mature tree through the roof of an empty building.
The search for a property led them to the abandoned island of Inis Bearacháin and a schoolhouse that has become the site of a work that deviates away from the physical encroachment of a tree through the building, but symbolically puts a root into the memory of place and invokes a legacy of family trees. The old schoolhouse, built in the thirties and last used by pupils in the 1960’s presents an intimate setting where the artists will create a series of photographic portraits. The seduction of visibility and the inevitability of change are implicit in Ackroyd & Harvey’s photographic work, and by skillfully manipulating the properties and connotations of their living medium, they articulate and actualize notions of ephemerality, duration, and memory.
In preparation for the exhibition, the artists will set up a temporary studio darkroom at Scoil an Cnoic, Tir an Fhia, which will be open to the public for special view 3rd November.