Paul Tierney is a specialist art, architecture and design photographer. He works with many leading artists, architects, designers and building contractors nationally and internationally.
In 2010 Tierney undertook a personal project exploring a particular class of Dublin institution – the small, local shop. Describing how he first began the project, Tierney says ‘The idea originated in a chipper in Arbour Hill, Dublin. The chipper had a huge plate glass window, through which you could see the street outside, the lettering on the glass and your own reflection. The reflection also showed the menu of the chipper, the people queuing, and the people behind the counter. It was a striking visual effect that I felt should be captured.’
Tierney’s shops project resulted in an exhibition in the Darc Space Gallery and a publication, Ten Pictures. Carefully composed and framed, these photographs of various premises throughout the city document the ordinary shop and its merchandise. This is a study of an expression of Irish vernacular architecture, preserving a record of a receding presence on the capital’s streets. Aluminium mullioned, neon-lit shop windows are full of old-fashioned displays at once inviting and almost overwhelming, stuffed with samples of the goods and wares available in the Aladdin’s Cave within. The pictures have a documentary quality, with Tierney using his architectural eye to capture the symmetry of the spaces, but these images also manage to convey something more ethereal – the personality as well as the purpose of the shops.
The Irish Architectural Archive is delighted to welcome to the Architecture Gallery a new collection of shop images, developing Tierney’s original 2010 work.
Dublin Shops will run in the Architecture Gallery, Irish Architectural Archive, 45 Merrion Square from Tuesday 11 March to Friday 25 April 2014. The Architecture Gallery is open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays to Fridays. The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of lunchtime lectures, details of which are available here.