Ciarn Dunbar

Updated: 05 Aug 2021

A Dundalk local, Ciarán Dunbar is Creative Spark’s Artist-In-Residence from 1st March 2018 to 30th April 2018. He first started studying photography in 2010, graduating from the University of Ulster with a BA(Honours) in Photography. Practicing as a documentary photographer, he created and developed photographic projects, while also working as a freelance photographer, photographing events and occasions.

For the 2015/16 academic year Ciarán interned in Ó’Fiaich Institute Of Further Education, working alongside the Photographic Studies Course Co-ordinator, Ken Finnegan, to support students in the development of their own photography skills, techniques, and knowledge. This included giving talks on the art of photography, feedback on coursework, and assistance with technical elements.

Ciarán’s work has been exhibited in Dundalk County Museum (Realigning, 2014) and the Gallery of Photography, Dublin (Notes From The Margins, 2015). He also took part in the End of Year Show, 2013, in the University of Ulster, Belfast, and has been published in The Guardian, in 2017.

During his time at Creative Spark, Ciarán hopes to work on several of his own projects while possibly involving a Muirhevna Mór community group with creating a community based project as he grew up in this area and has completed a photography project, named The Wise, dealing with the stigma surrounding the area.

One project which is nearing completion is Diesel, a piece on diesel laundering within the Louth region. By photographing locations of sites along the Irish border where illegal dumping of toxic sludge has taken place this work explores this black market industry by looking at its cause and effect on the border region.

Another is We Have Stood Together All The Years, a project dealing with Ciarán’s experience of losing his brother to cancer twenty years ago. This project has been photographed and is now to be edited and sequenced to make a photobook.

An additional project will deal with the feelings of being trapped and unable to move forward, involving photographs of current surroundings, interiors and exteriors.

Artist Statement:

Ciarán Dunbar was born in 1982 in Dundalk, where he currently lives and works. He gained a BA in Photography from the University of Ulster in 2013.

Having escaped the Troubles in the 1980s, Ciarán’s parents, originally from the North of Ireland, settled in Dundalk. It is here, against the backdrop of this border town, that issues of identity, displacement, and belonging have become the focus of Ciarán’s work to date.