Off the Highway / by Conánn FitzPatrick

No Gate

Being a student again is awesome. It's been ten fast years since completing my design degree @ulsteruni. Now I'm doing my best to make it through a masters. MFA Photography, also at Ulster University is a world apart from previous experiences. As an artist in film I worked creatively on components of another's vision. As a designer, being part of a team, solving a problem an creative outcomes. Photography has been a note taking experience, punctuated by commercial and diaristic endeavours. The MFA (Masters in Fine Art) doesn't fit with my previous work, it has to be individual, intellectually sound, artist centred work. 

While the overall concept of my project work is still emerging it has moved along sufficiently to share some of the sub-concept, spin-out projects, which are been part of the journey. 

Myself and the kids spend a disproportionate amount of time on the road, traveling back and forward from home to home, generating a curiosity around what is on the other side of the hedge. The following images were based on a premise. Take two lefts and take a photograph in the general direction of the motorway. 

So what's the point? Are there images that can be made while using a systematic approach to location? In creating a formula I wasn't expecting so many farm gates. As an artist I can't get away from the designer's desire to work within a system. 

The first and last images in this post are two of my favourite photographs. Had I not created a system I would never have even been in these locations, let alone thought of taking photographs like these. Being pushed to think differently is a pleasure.