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    Photographer explores Irish-American loss, landscape

    By Noreen Bowden | June 9, 2009

    An Irish-American artist’s exploration of her family’s emigrant heritage is on display at the Indiana State Museum’s “Making it in the Midwest” exhibition. Cynthia Dell’s project, called “Migrations”, features transparencies of old family photographs juxtaposed against a backdrop of the landscape of her ancestral home.

    Several of the photos are available on her website. The artist says on the site, “In this work I am seeking to find beauty out of the loss that is the history of so many Irish Americans.” The images are haunting, as the ghostly figures of the photographs contrast with the bright, solid backgrounds.

    O’Dell expands on her work in an article from Depauw University Press:

    “I am trying to recreate my own family album in an impossible scenario, and as a result I am creating a new story,” O’Dell says. “Growing up, I was told that I was Irish. In Migrations, I was interested in posing the question, ‘How do I make sense of that identity?’ By symbolically taking my ancestors back to their native country, I attempted to complete the circle of their migration pattern – to convey loss while also exploring the redemptive and beautiful qualities of the Irish landscape in the midst of pain.”

    The group exhibition is on display from June 20 to October 18.

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    Topics: Latest News | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Photographer explores Irish-American loss, landscape”

    1. Judy Robles Says:
      June 12th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

      How wonderful of you. I am Cynthia’s mother and
      am always so thrilled when her work is appreciated
      by others. We are still working on getting our
      relatives out of Virginia and back to Ireland.
      We are finding some born in the USA in the mid
      1700’s so it is very difficult. I hope to come
      to Ireland with Cynthia and see your beautiful
      country for real as I have appreciated it so much
      in her photos
      Judy Robles