Through my final photo project, I was able to artistically (and meticulously) recreate the curses of mythological Irish bards by editing human features into Ireland’s fantastic nature. To accompany each image, I wrote original poems, and—through Photoshop—presented these poems as if they were ripped right out of the Book of Kells.
This project darkly unites humanity with nature, displaying humans that have been cursed into eternal imprisonment within natural phenomena.
While exploring Irish mythology, I was intrigued by the powerful Bards of medieval Ireland, who were thought to be capable of transformative magic through songs and poetry. The Bards' power was widely feared as much as any weapon, especially their glam dicin, the Bards' curse song. Such spells could be used for a variety of purposes – ranging from driving away rats to 'disabling' or even killing a human victim.
This photo series is an imaginative take on this mythology. To accompany my photographs, I have written five 'curses' that, when recited, would magically trap a human being's spirit within nature. Nearly all of the Bards' spells were kept secret, and thus never recorded (and even less were translated) but I have imagined them in a loose ballad form, utilizing rhyme and alliteration. I hope to have captured both the frightful magic that was associated with the Bards' glam dicin as well as the diverse beauty of Ireland's nature.
The fifth piece in the series, 'Seasick', won 1st place in the 2014 Johns Hopkins Study Abroad Photo Contest.