London-based Dubliner Daragh Soden is a documentary artist who combines photography with prose, poetry, video and installation to examine themes of identity and youth.
Young Dubliners, produced as part of the undergraduate degree in documentary photography he is due to complete this summer, is a snapshot of youth in Dublin today. The pieces are nostalgic for the moments of naive youth drifting away, gracefully immortalising lingering moments of buoyant innocence on medium format film. The work is a deeply personal collaboration between subject and artist. He explains his intention to capture “young Dubliners presenting themselves, in their own environments.”
Daragh explains: “I think I was drawn to photography because it marries my technical side with my creative side. But photography, like any medium, has limitations.” As such, Daragh has presented his series of photographs alongside a fictional short story, inspired by his own experiences growing up in Dublin, contextualising his Dubliners as part of a larger narrative fabric.
Diverse and encompassing in its execution, it portrays the reality of multiculturalism in Dublin, “the subjects of the work are united in their youth, but are divided in Dublin,” he says. Despite the narrative sense of trepidation that “their futures, their fates, are not entirely in their own hands”, there is in many of the pictures a simultaneous sense of cautious optimism. Young Dubliners is intentionally microcosmic, using the specific personal cases to reveal in young people today what Daragh calls “themes that are universal.”
Daragh will be exhibiting Young Dubliners at Free Range at the Truman Brewery in London, as well as at PhotoIreland in July back in Dublin. He is currently working on a project about the role gender and sexuality has in forming identity.