Today I was lucky enough to attend a talk by photographer Danny Treacy. I have previously research Danny’s work in the body project during second year and found his project ‘them’ very interesting, so was very happy when I heard he would be giving a talk.
His talk was very interesting and Danny discussed his work since studying his MA through to his work or today. Danny began his work with a medium format camera where he found an interest in spaces. Danny would gain access to buildings that were abandoned or that were soon to be demolished however he was not just interested in making images, he was interested in documenting what was happening in that space. When photographing this spaces Danny treats each space like a tomb, he wouldn’t touch or move anything. Danny discussed how he felt privileged to be able to see things no one else had seen.
This then leads Danny’s work that he is most known for, his series of images ‘Them’ where he stepped away from the spaces but instead substituted them for items of clothing he’s found in these buildings. Danny first began setting his camera up on a tripod in the flats and took self-portraits of himself there. However, he soon decided to swap to a studio to bring out more detail and make it less about the space.
“Spaces didn’t need to be seen, they were seen in the clothing” – Danny Treacy
I believe that this was not only a brave decision by Danny as he hadn’t done anything like this before but also was a very successful decision after seeing the images of him in the spaces compared to them in the studio. Not only do the details come out but it makes it all about the clothes, the colours against the black background really make his work eye catching. Danny posed the same in each different outfit, he described his pose as ‘dressing up like a crap superhero’.
“Them is not me, them is other people” – Danny Treacy
Although’ Them’ was exhibited Danny did not stop there with this fascination with the exploration of the contemporary world and how spaces are constantly shifting and moving. Danny has chosen to carry on within these lines as a collection speaks best, sometimes images speak best in numbers.