Friday, June 4, 2010

Jacolette and the Irish Vernacular

Jacolette is the website and blog of Orla Fitzpatrick, a librarian and photo-historian from Dublin. It's a fascinating look at vernacular photography and found images from Ireland's past that reminds us of photography's transformative nature as a historical document.

I've long been a fan of similar sites such as Square America and Black and WTF and I'm delighted to see Orla flying the flag for Ireland's photographic past.

Snapshots taken on a whim are re-discovered like messages in a bottle from the past, telling us more about their subjects than the people could ever have known they were revealing to the camera at the time....

Girls making their Confirmations, Ireland, 1950s

Similarly as time takes it's toll on images, they become portals into fictionalised histories and places that exist only in our imaginations, becoming neither a representation of a specific time or place but something else entirely. An image becomes less about what it shows and is transformed into a mood or feeling, something that is evocative, triggering memories we may never have had and jolting our imaginations into action.

This is the wonder of the photographic process at work.


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