Willie Doherty’s work was suggested to me by more than one person this year. I can’t recall seeing any work exhibited, but I am drawn in to the work by how the text words alter completely how apparently mundane photographs (beautifully composed) can be seen. Doherty uses this and other techniques to find a new way of presenting issues and understandings of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The persistent gaze, deliberately excluding people in the landscape works, creates a solitude and a hard reality for the abstract concepts that the words embody.
Doherty’s work is also about the reliability of memory and particularly how a photograph is a memory (representing it’s point of image capture in time) but also evokes in a viewer their own memory of that place, that time. Both these memory types are perhaps unreliable.
Christov-Bakargiev, C and Mac Giolla Leith, C (2002) Willie Doherty, London: Merrell