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After two months of work photographing Kilmainham Gaol by about 25 members of Dublin Camera Club, tomorrow night sees the official opening of the resultant exhibition titled “Kilmainham Gaol in Focus 2009″.   The images have never been exhibited before, and have all been shot specifically for the exhibition.  It is well worthwhile pencilling a visit to the exhibition, and the good news is that it is free, and open every day until August 2nd 2009, so there is plenty of time to get to see it.

I spent last Friday evening at the gaol with other members of the club laying out the exhibition, deciding which images went where.  The final 67 images had previously been selected by an independent panel of senior club members, who narrowed down over 300 photos that were submitted to come up with the final selection.   Each photographer printed and mounted their own photographs, and last week they were framed in the club.  They look spectacular when presented in this way, and the exhibition space in the gaol is a bright and airy space (unlike the rest of the gaol), which does the images justice.

The layout of the exhibition was somewhat design-by-committee, but the job was simplified by splitting the images into sections of the gaol – East Wing, West Wing, Basement, Details, Exterior etc.   Once the images were grouped, we lined them up along the walls where they would hang, and by looking at each wall separately it wasn’t too difficult to decide what layouts worked and what didn’t.  The whole process took about 2 hours, and I’m looking forward to seeing the framed prints hanging on the walls for the first time tomorrow evening.

It’s a nice opportunity for members of the club to showcase some of their work, and with the exhibition running for 4 months at one of Ireland’s busiest tourist spots, there will be a huge number of people who get to view them.  Mounted prints are available for purchase also for €100 with 20% of the price being donated to Dublin Camera Club and the OPW Charity, and it would be a nice reward for the cold weekend mornings spent in the gaol if even one of the five prints I have on show generated a sale.

So if you’re going to be in the Dublin region in the next four months, take time to visit the exhibition, and while you’re at it take a tour of the gaol itself.  It’s a fascinating place with a very interesting history that the well-informed tour guides take pleasure in passing on.

Sneak preview: Some of the images I’ve had selected are posted on this blog.  As well as today’s photograph, the images here, here and here are all part of the exhibition.  Sadly one of my favourite images didn’t make the final cut.

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