Sean Dooley’s talk to the members was entitled ‘Any Title Will Do’. As someone who has a degree in mathematics and photography, who is heavily involved in boat construction with Fife Fisheries Museum, likes drawing and painting, it was likely to cover a wide and alternate subject matter.
Right from the off, Sean presented a poem of two different voices to reflect on how the medium of photography is in the eye of the beholder and there is not necessarily only one truth. Sean expanded on his thoughts, demonstrating different subjects, where what is presented can differ from the reality. By looking at many forms of creativity, it develops his own development into his individual creativity. That other people find beauty in a variety of spheres helps him become more aware of his surroundings.
Which is probably why he is drawn to artists who document and record social and historical events. Sean displayed images of the Slums of New York in the 1980s by Jacob Riis and Japanese photographer Maruyama who documented images reflect the Japanese coming to terms with defeat after WW2 and their lack of national identity.
Sean expressed he finds both speaking about his work and photography very difficult. Then continued to develop on the theme of photographers he liked and how they interpreted both loss and longing. More modern photographers developing these themes, are Alex Soth, ‘Sleeping by the Mississippi’ and Stephen Gill, Coexistence.
In respect of his own work, Sean talked about a commission he undertook for Craigellachie distillery, documenting the area within the production unit and close by. Linking how there is beauty in and around an industrial environment. Another piece of local documentation ‘Holding the Line’ is recording what is taking place to prevent the increase in coastal erosion. He also showed how he captures his own imagination for images by taking pictures of things that were something and things that are going to be something.
Sean concluded his talk with an image of a new body of work looking at conflict under British rule in Australia impacting on injustices against the indigenous Aborigines.