work by tara timlin

Graduates 2024: Tara Timlin: Fashion Communication

“Brighton means the world to me; over the past three years, I’ve undergone profound personal growth within this vibrant city.”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

““Ealaín Dorcha,” (All-en Dove) translates to “dark art” in Gaelic. Irish mythology is profoundly cynical; within my research I have connected these dark undertones of Irish folklore to the political influences throughout history.
My project seeks to foster connections between people, imagery, and folklore, exploring their ties to cultural identities. At the core of my exploration lies Irish folklore, a realm that holds personal resonance for me as it reflects my upbringing and heritage.. Recalling the tales passed down to me as a child, particularly those recounted by my grandfather, Thomas Timlin, I am reminded of their profound impact on my artistic journey and identity. Although my grandfather is no longer with us, his stories endure within me, serving as a legacy I hope to pass on to future generations.

“Through my photography, I encapsulate both the beauty and darkness inherent in these tales. Each photoshoot revolves around a specific story, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Irish folklore. I achieved this by utilizing my podcast platform to craft immersive narratives and rich soundscapes inspired by the folklore behind each fashion photoshoot. From these podcasts I then created fashion editorials surrounding themes from my conversations. Each conversation in my podcast to create fashion editorials has been meticulously researched and curated to include subtle references to the stories that inspire them.

“For my Showcase, I’ve crafted an immersive environment by printing my photographs on recycled cotton fabrics. Each image will be displayed as though hanging from a washing line. I’ll infuse the fabrics with scents reminiscent of the landscapes featured in each story; for instance, the aroma of heather for The Gancanagh photoshoot and lavender scent for the Sidhe photoshoot. Upon entering the space, visitors will be enveloped in podcasts and soundscapes that influenced the fashion editorial. My goal is to engage all the senses and create a truly immersive experience of the Beauty of Irish folklore.”

“An example of the work I’ve created above is from the story of the The Gancanagh (pronounced Ghan-Canna) The Gancanagh is believed to be a leprechaun who can shapeshift into a human form. To describe him as handsome would be an understatement. The Gancanagh is famously known for stealing young women’s hearts. he somehow appears as their perfect man in face, body and soul. One touch from the Gancansgh on the woman’s skin makes her instantly addicted to him. She is now his slave. When the Gancanagh gets bored he takes her soul to the ethereal world. Her body is left on earth and she often dies from heartbreak as she is unable to function after the spell has been cast.

“This Photoshoot was inspired by the woman who was left behind by The Gancanagh. She waited for her Gancanagh to return to her. She starts to realize he has left her, and she is ready to die. I have attached the soundscape that accompanies these photoshoots to this email
Other example of my work is inspired by Cailleach (pronounced Cal-yah). Cailleach is the Celtic term for witches. Cailleach have been a recurring motif in folklore worldwide, from the troll whisperers of Scandinavia to Italy’s witch prostitutes and the tsukimono-suji – fox witch families – of Japan. Regardless of their cultural variation, they share a common trait: they are women who defied societal norms, thereby becoming objects of fear, ridicule, admiration and, all too frequently, violence. A Celtic Witch honours the mythology, customs, history and festivals of ancient Irish Celts, adapting them to modern life. This photoshoot was inspired by the strength of the Caillech, an Irish representation of Divine feminine women, Irish Celtic Paganism reveres the Earth and nature, emphasizing Elemental Spirits, the elements and the spirit world. Additionally, it incorporates herbs and roots in both healing and magical practices. During paganism, these women were celebrated for their gifts.”

What made you choose your course?

“During my Fashion Buying, Styling, and Visual Merchandising studies, I was tasked with enrolling in two additional education courses. I vividly recall examining both the course content and the city itself, envisioning a place where I could truly thrive. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a shift in my plans. Initially, I embarked on training to join the Irish Cadets, a decision that felt fitting at the time. However, a week before commencing the cadet program, I sustained rib injuries, abruptly halting my pursuit of a military career. It was during this same week that I received an offer to attend the University of Brighton, marking the beginning of a new chapter in my life. Despite the unexpected turn of events, the decision to accept the university offer felt undeniably right.

Can you tell us about any staff who particularly inspired you?

Throughout my university experience, the staff members of this course have been consistently amazing and supportive. In particular, my tutor, Eloise Calandre, has played a pivotal role in guiding me through this journey. Her assistance and guidance have been invaluable in helping me complete my showcase and assemble a piece of work that fills me with pride and anticipation for others to see.”

If you did a placement or work experience, can you tell us about it and any support you received?

“I did embark on a work experience year. Throughout this period, I had the privilege of seizing remarkable opportunities in the fashion capitals of Paris and London, collaborating with brands I deeply admire. Additionally, I was granted the chance to return to Ireland to immerse myself in the Irish creative scene. This year proved instrumental in acquiring a myriad of skills and gaining insight into the diverse facets of the industry, encompassing both its triumphs and challenges.”

What does Brighton mean to you now?

“Brighton means the world to me; over the past three years, I’ve undergone profound personal growth within this vibrant city. The individual who arrived here from Ireland in 2019 is distinctly different from the person writing this email today. I hold Brighton close to my heart, as it has played an integral role in shaping me in many ways that I will forever cherish.”

Can you tell us your plans after graduation?

“I wish I could say that I have a clear plan mapped out for myself after graduation, but the truth is, I don’t. However, I aspire to venture to New York after completing my studies and immerse myself in its vibrant fashion culture.”

Finally if you could give your 17 year old self any advice about going to university what would it be?

“School was a challenging experience for me particularly as someone with dyslexia. Being thrust into a classroom environment where my struggles were often seen as amusing by my peers felt disheartening. However, I found solace in the art room, a sanctuary where I felt at peace. Miss Hevy, my art teacher, played a significant role in creating that safe haven. Despite my awareness of my limitations in art, I cherished the creative outlet it provided.

Originally, I envisioned a future staying in Ireland and pursuing farming after finishing school. However, my mother encouraged me to pursue higher education. It was my English teacher, Miss Halagan, who recommended the PLC in Fashion Buying, Styling, and Visual Merchandising. Little did I know, that decision would completely redefine my perspective on education.
As I near the conclusion of my educational journey, I wish I could convey to my younger self the emotions I’m experiencing now. If I was allowed to say anything to to my 17th-year-old self, it would be to be kind and patient. I would tell her about all the amazing things we have completed in the last three years and all the amazing people we have met along the way. I would encourage her to take her school life a lot more seriously and to enjoy it more, life moves so fast.”

Find out about studying Fashion Communication at Brighton.

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