This is an artwork
presented as a website gallery of about 250 photos of discarded umbrellas.
I have been taking the photos fairly casually if intently, around Dublin,
for the past couple of years.
I think they are beautiful, but took the pictures because I was amazed
by the vast numbers of them and decided to document them.
Of course they look like tragically (or comically?) fallen birds, but
the umbrella, now that I think about it, also reminds me of the flimsy
reflectors and solar panels on spacecraft, as well as serving as a parachute
in Mary Poppins and myriad cartoons
The work is partly inspired by Oscar Wildes critique of critics
as knowing "the price of everything and the value of nothing
Perhaps I am suggesting it could be said of us all- I have, like everyone
else seems to, have bought cheap umbrellas and watched them fall apart.
Or perhaps its just the Irish weather, or maybe our optimistic
attitude to it.
Of course theres also a Wildean whiff of beauty in the gutter.
Many of the umbrellas were found in bins, and sometimes I put the camera
inside the bin for the photo. Some of them were taken on pocket cameras
and arent focussed properly.
NOTE: I originally made this gallery of photos for the Darklight Digital
Media Festival in Dublin in 2002, using photos that I'd been taking
for a few years previously. Now, in 2005, I have a few hundred more
photos and will make a new gallery soon.