I found that it was hard for photographers to enter the Art scene in Ireland, partly because the discipline was underrepresented, and partly because those that were promoting it in Ireland at the time, they had a narrow vision, not very open to new ways of working within the medium.
We saw that talent that came from the Photography degrees did not have easy access to galleries, magazines or other platforms that could provide visibility, while those coming from Fine Art programmes had a lesser challenge.
Indeed, a need to show the existing diversity and to add visibility in the fast changing discipline of photography was the starting point that inspired the idea of a festival for Ireland.
We looked at other festivals abroad, such as PhotoEspaña, and researched internationally. We saw that these festivals opened a healthy dialogue about photography and that is what we wanted to achieve in Ireland as well.
We certainly have made a serious difference over the last 10 years! The festival was the first project but our ambition is bigger; we started running other projects outside the festival period, now all run under the umbrella of the PhotoIreland Foundation - a photobook library, and Arts bookshop, a gallery, a print fair, editorial projects, and more.