“Cobh Stories” is a multimedia project by photographer filmmaker Damian Drohan, commissioned by Cork County Council’s Arts Office in 2015 with support from the Arts Council. During a month long residency in Cobh Library the artist invited locals to share their stories on audio and be photographed in the ‘Story House’ within the library. The result was a fascinating book of portraits, along with a multimedia website, which the Council is inviting the public to revisit at this time and enjoy from the comfort of home.
Speaking about his approach to portraiture, artist Damian explains,
“Portraits, by their nature, are mute and full of mystery. They can never really describe the inner character of the sitter, and at best can be said to show how someone looked under a particular set of circumstances. We the viewer, can make some basic assumptions, guided by our own world view about a collection of portraits. This project attempts, by the addition of sound, to contextualise the faces. In some cases, the resulting “sound-portraits” reinforce our views and opinions, but in many cases, the audio turns our view upside down. It is this tension between the spoken word and the visual that excites me as an artist and photographer, and my hope is that the viewer of this work, whether on the printed page, or the project website, will find the combination stimulating and enriching.”
Speaking of the innovative Cork project, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Ian Doyle, said
“Cobh Stories is a unique snapshot in time. The townspeople who contributed stories give us a very special insight into the rich social fabric and heritage of the town. I am also aware that some of the original participants have passed away in the intervening years and I trust that this gesture will also commemorate the wonderful contribution of their time and their memories.”
The Cobh Stories project is available to enjoy at http://cobhstories.damiandrohan.com/