independent

Saturday 26 July 2014

Gay relationships the focus of Ken's expo

Margaret Roddy

Published 09/07/2014|05:20

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THE striking black and white images in local photographer Ken Finegan's new exhibition celebrate the ordinary things which make up a relationship, a glance, the touch of a hand, a collection of love letters.

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But what sets 'Relate' apart is that the images offer glimpses into the lives of members of Dundalk's gay and lesbian community.

The simple belief that 'everybody has the right to a relationship' was the starting point for Ken's exhibition.

'I consider it a basic right for everybody to have a relationship, regardless of their sexual orientation,' says Ken.

In planning the exhibition, he got in touch with Dundalk Outcomers and after a number of meetings and discussions, they agreed that it would be a good idea and put him in contact with gay and lesbian couples and singles who were willing to be part of the project.

'I am really grateful to all those who volunteered to take part and who let me into their lives and homes to photograph them,' says Ken. 'It was a real privilege to be allowed to do this.

'The people portrayed are all from the Dundalk area, from all strands of life,' he says. 'Many of them are people in their forties or fifties who grew up in Ireland before homosexuality was legalised.'

He worked with the subjects in the photographs for a six month period making the series of portraits and scenes of domestic life in black and white.

'Just as I feel that the right to a relationship is a basic human right, I decided to go back to the basics of photography for making these images,' he says.

All the photographs were shot on black and white film.

'Relate' opens in the County Museum, Jocelyn Street on Tuesday July 15th as part of Dundalk Pride week.

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