D I T G R A D U A T E I N T E R V I E W : D A V I D D O H E R T Y
David Doherty’s graduate work details the artificiality of the urban green space. His book was by far the largest and most concise study of a subject that I’d seen not only in a college surrounding but in the photography world as a whole.
How influential do you think an environment containing practicing peers is on your work?
Fairly influential, over the years I have heard the odd person from another year in the course say your class photographically sits well together, that we’ve all got our own thing but you can see that you enjoy each other’s work and so on. Not to say this is an insult to us as a group but that it shows we’ve supported each other when we could; giving critique or references and so on.
What about your work do you think sets you apart from the rest of your class?
Ah I really don’t know how to answer this one. I mean, what comes to mind first is that oddly greens have been my thing, whether they’ve been desaturated, a lot of green or super radioactive hyper greens, I always dealt with the idea of nature that surrounds us and the effect it can have on us, secondly I tend to focus on small banalities or ennui of everyday life but I try and project them in a grander, overdramatic kind of way and lastly I’m fairly “out there” maybe with the whole performance aspect of my work, ever since the summer before third year I’ve been obsessed with sculptural art, land art and performance art and I think they subconsciously developed together with my more personal ideas into a style.
You just finished college and the phone rings. It’s your dream job offering to put you in a position where you can pursue your ideal project? Who’s on the line and what did they say?
I have no clue what to say, my instinct is to go with a rather cool and creative advertising company that will employ me to make rather exciting, colourful “artsy” images for them. The other option is doing the whole wedding, family portrait photography though I know I’d most probably be happier doing what I want when I want, meaning doing the odd horrible wedding job to be able to do more fine art work, selling a print or two every few years and enjoying my life. Although a fairly stressed out person at the best times, I’d just like to be happy and I’ll only really know what I want when the cards are laid out on the table, I’m rather practical that way, you always just have to keep trying.
Honestly, where do you see your photography in five years?
My hope is to get into more performance art stuff-that should satisfy my need for fine art, and then do more documentary work as well, that would help me develop more people skills hopefully, in order to be more successful in commercial jobs, but I say I may end up getting a 9 to 5 type job and doing a load of fine art work for my wellbeing.
What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back in time to your first day in the course?
Relax, this is not the weirdest day you’ll ever have! You’re going to freak out so much, you’ll hyperventilate, you’ll have the odd mild panic attack, you’ll get rather depressed and angry with yourself when you can’t explain your ideas to tutors among many other reasons, you’ll feel worthless when you give into going with the flow regarding a project submission with whatever tutor, you’ll end up being a rather clichéd young artist-type taking photographs of yourself and calling it the best work you’ve done and you’ll even cry to yourself a few times in a toilet stall in college. Yet when you finish up, although you still won’t be happy with the result and you’ll feel like you should of done more and regret almost everything you have done, at least you tried, you tried so hard in everything through the four years and you need to look at yourself then, you’ll have had some great experiences and learned so much about art, photography and even yourself. In summary: it’s grand like! It’s always alright.
David Doherty currently resides in Dublin, Ireland and can be found online at the following:
Website | DIT Graduate Website | DIT Graduate Facebook
The DIT Graduate Exhibition runs until June 17th in the Gallery of Photography and June 24th in the National Photographic Archive.