The word fairyland can be understood in many ways. It can be thought
of as a utopia, a mythical other place parallel to our own. It can also signify
a geographical location of particular beauty or spirit. The concept of a
fairyland is common in European mythology- not least in my adopted
homeland, Ireland. Fairyland as a utopia can be considered to reflect the
world that we live in: whatever we choose fairyland to be, it is somehow
mirroring the negatives and positives of our respective realities.
For me, fairyland is experienced first and foremost as a state of mind. The
images for the project are born when I’m not preoccupied with anything:
there are no obligations for me to be, or to do anything than what I want
to be or do just at that moment; it is a place that can be anywhere, but
most often seems to manifest itself in places where I feel connected to my
surroundings. The texts, taken from the major Irish newspaper’s front page
or world news section, reflect the general mood through which I seek the
moments of perfect presence.
The thing that fairyland in this project mirrors is not only the culture I live
in and the general chaos that is the world as seen through news coverage. It
also mirrors my relationship to photography. For someone who has a very complex relationship with photography and its uses it is relieving to realize that when I have nothing to do I still carry a camera with me. I’ve used
photography to document conflicts, consequences of war, for pr, as holiday
pictures: always to communicate a preconceived agenda set for the pictures.
Taking these pictures, there hasn’t really been one; the concept developed
when I was pondering the meaning of the word fairyland as the summer
slowly turned to autumn.
Fairyland is a place, too: the first image of the project, taken on the first
Sunday back in May after a long winter in Finland was taken near a place that
historical records show was called Fairy land.