I visited an exhibition of photography in Hull yesterday – 5th October 2019. Amongst the work there was a large display devoted to the work of Tristan Poyser. In this intriguing piece Tristan explores the concept of the Geographical / Political border between Northern and Southern Ireland.
The line has been a contentious issue for many years and with the Brexit issue (where Southern Ireland will stay in the EU and Northern Ireland – being part of Great Britain – will potentially leave the EU ) inflaming debate once more. Tristan travelled the line over a period of a couple of years photographing as he went.
Unlike County and National lines in, say North America, the lines are not straight, twisting and winding as they do. Tristan handed out images he had taken and asked people to rip the images along where they thought the border may be. The effect was to produce a large number of public interpretations of the border, many annotated with what they thought about the connected issues.
The main part of the work is a series of Tristan’s images, large, ripped and re-mounted to indicate just where the border travels.
For me the exhibition raised so many issues about art, politics, geography and particularly the corrupt politics of todays world. I wrote to Tristan. You can see my note below.
The concept is excellent. The work is excellent. It makes you think. Go visit.
I saw you and your show yesterday (Sat 5th). I believe the true judgement of a show is not necessarily the immediate impression you get whilst in the presence of the work. No, it’s about how it stays with you afterwards.
I’ve thought about your show a lot since I left. Your exhibition made me question the issues of the Irish border and Brexit itself, particularly the act of a country divorcing itself from what what is has (always for some) known. It’s akin to the tearing in half of photographs after a divorce. And like the rips in your pictures around the convoluted Irish border, where does that rip go around the children of the marriage?
That, I believe, is what children born after the UK joining the EU are, children of the marriage. And, like in a divorce, they are out of place, lost, deserted and changed forever, corrupted and, unforgiving – as I’m sure the politicians will discover to their shame and cost.
You work awakened me to the cleft developing, not just geographically but Geopolitically. In addition far from uniting the country, as has been spouted by Brexiter’s, that cleft will be felt in interpersonal relationships, for generations to come. How very sad.
And all this in the hidden name of moneymaking plutocrats. Even sadder.
Those who call those of us who wish to remain “Remoaners” may soon discover they should be more correctly calling us “Re-told-you-so’s”. We shall see. I sincerely hope I’m wrong.
You can see the work here on Tristans web site , but the show itself is so much better.
Note.Copyright of the image at the head of the page rests with Tristan Poyser