Unveiled Horizons (2017)

Previously seen in Cork with their New Young Europeans exhibition as part of Cork 2005, Daily Life returned in 2017 with the haunting Unveiled Horizons, a large scale outdoor installation of portrait photographs and personal quotations on the Custom House Quay. 

Unveiled Horizons was commissioned by UCC Creative in partnership with the French Embassy in Ireland, Cork Harbour Festival, Cork Midsummer Festival, Port of Cork and UCC Women’s Studies. The Cork iteration of the project was directed by photographer Carl Cordonnier and Jools Gilson. 

This provocative and beautiful work focused on the hidden presence of women in port towns and cities. Through interviews and photography workshops, Carl Cordonnier and Jools Gilson collaborated with six women from Cork on the composition of their portraits. These images were then printed onto six metre high flags, flown from the iconic Port of Cork sign and on the roof of the Port of Cork building (both on the Customs House Quay), as part of both the Cork Harbour Festival and the Cork Midsummer Festival, May / June 2017. An installation of photographs and audio (also on the quay) gave visitors an intimate space to reflect and further engage with these stories. 

The project was also part of the Women’s Studies conference Women’s Voices in Ireland. Unveiled Horizons was political as well as poetic work which sought to empower its female participants, to make present, and articulate not just the horizons of the women from Cork, but to place them in a networked context of other iterations of the project – women from Dunkirk, Boulogne sur Mer, Tianjin in China, Tangier in Morocco, Glasgow in Scotland, and the Jungle in Calais. Flags from two of these cities flew on the Custom House Quay alongside the women from Cork, and the Cork images / stories joined the international Unveiled Horizonswebsite

For a brief period, Unveiled Horizons also changed the Cork horizon - these large striking close-up photographs were visible along multiple approaches to Cork City. For a while, people in Cork looked up to these women, placed symbolically in the site that so often excluded them, or marked them as sexual other. This project had significant visual, digital and local / national impact – placed in an iconic location and shared through online contexts, featured on RTÉ national news, as well as the weekly Energia Map. Unveiled Horizons composed a resonant female gaze from multiple ports out and beyond multiple horizons.  

Six Women:  

Carmen Burns Swimmer, The Lee Swim  

Mary Bishop  Grandmother, Knocknaheeny  

Elisenda Camaano Boat Builder, Meitheal Mara   

Nura Hagi Irish Citizen, Survivor Somali Civil War   

Samar Khan Student, Government of Ireland India Scholarship, UCC  

Erika O’Leary Lieutenant Commander, Irish Navy  

Carmel Burns,Swimmer, The Lee Swim 

Mary Bishop, Grandmother, Knocknaheeny 

Nura Hagi,Irish Citizen, Survivor Somali Civil War 

Erika O’Leary, Lieutenant Commander, Irish Navy 

ElisendaCaamano, Boat Builder, Meitheal Mara 

Samar Khan, Student, Government of Ireland India Scholarship