A solo photographic exhibition by Caolan Barron
Curated by Patricia Robinson
Friday 13th February – Saturday 7th March, 2015
Opening Reception: Thursday 12th February at 7pm
Guest speaker: Tom Mooney, Editor – The Echo
Wexford Arts Centre is proud to present Kay’s, an exhibition by Irish photographer Caolan Barron. Perhaps better known for his street photography in Dublin to date, for this exhibition the artist turns the camera on his hometown of Wexford, in what is his first full documentary project. Framed by emerald green basins, authentically retro tiling and hair dryers that extend from walls like antique spaceships; Caolan Barron’s work presents an escape from cold, franchised modernity and offers an intimate view into the vibrant and engaging space of Kay’s Hair Salon.
Nestled just off Wexford town’s main thoroughfare, with its modest and dated frontage, you would be forgiven for being oblivious to this local business. But what lies behind the brown front door at Kay’s is something very special. Here, we have a bustling environment, a room stuck in a time bygone, and awash with sounds; shower heads spraying, kettles boiling and cans of hairspray hissing amidst the warm chattering of women. And the service Kay and her staff provide the loyal customers extends far beyond hair cutting. It has been over 50 years since Kay Broaders first picked up a scissors, and what remains today of her efforts is nothing short of an institution, a beacon of community.
Barron’s images manage to record and capture the atmosphere of Kay’s and, perhaps more crucially, the many long established relationships that are rooted there. However, he does this without directing or diluting the strength and naturalness of these interactions. What he has achieved is a connection with his subject and an honest, relatable view of their characters, personalities and friendships. The images we see do not exaggerate or understate, but rather demonstrate an average day in Kay’s Salon while highlighting the companionship and care of this socially important place. Despite the tactile and interesting quality of the salon itself, Barron’s photographs clearly focus on the people. Importantly, they also shed light on this small but integral facet of life in Wexford town and give the work of Kay and her staff the commendation they clearly deserve.
Caolan Barron is an emerging Irish photographer from Wexford town. Despite not being formally trained, the young artist has forged a promising reputation in the short time that he has been working. He first picked up a camera in early 2013 and, following an intense period of self teaching, has since worked largely in Dublin. Most recently, Barron has returned to his hometown to concentrate on personal projects including an exhibition of fine art street photography last October. Kay’s is the latest project and offers the viewer another side of Barron’s skill set; documentary photography.
Kay’s will run in the upper gallery of Wexford Arts Centre from Friday 13th February to Saturday 7th March 2015, and gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, from 10am-5pm. For further information on the artist or exhibition please contact Catherine Bowe, Visual Arts Manager on +353 (0)53 9123764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.