Gallery of Photography Ireland is delighted to publish a retrospective book by photographer Pete Smyth featuring work from his extensive photography project documenting aspects of life in Tallaght, West Dublin.
LOCAL invites us into a forgotten corner of contemporary Ireland – Tallaght, on the periphery of Dublin – where Pete Smyth has lived and worked for over thirty years. Smyth’s uniquely intimate account captures the richness and humour of a community at the frontline of Ireland’s rapid modernization. His approach is deeply affectionate, but without sentimentality, inviting us into private spaces, moments of quiet drama – and some wild nights in his local, the Killinarden House pub.
A bittersweet celebration of a community, and a soulful exploration of our universal need to belong, LOCAL adds a vital and previously neglected point of view to the canon of Irish photography.
One of Ireland’s leading socially engaged photographers, Smyth has lived and worked in the area for over 30 years, producing in that time a uniquely intimate account of the place and its people. Aware of the complexities of his dual role of observer and participant, Smyth’s close, personal engagement with his subjects is visible throughout. The exhibition also reflects his political concerns and experiences as a community arts worker and social activist. Smyth’s unsentimental representation of Tallaght and its people makes visible the social and physical transformation the area has undergone from a socially deprived outlying suburb to an urban centre with a strong sense of community.