How far have we come

In 2012 I was commissioned by Belfast CIty Council to create a body of work to exhibit in the Ulster Hall to commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant, due to the role that the Ulster Hall played in this turbulent period of Irish History.  'How Far Have We Come' is an investigation through the medium of photography, how closely a divided society has come together a century after the signing of one of the most divisive documents in Northern Irish History…the Ulster Covenant. The exhibition has an underlying theme of redevelopment; physical, environmental & cultural.  The Ulster Covenant was a document signed by around half a million men & women in Ulster in September 1912 in protest against the third Home Rule Bill, which would have seen the establishment of a Home Rule Parliament in Dublin.

The signing of the Ulster Covenant effectively marked the start of a bloody Civil War in Ireland and furthered segregation between the Unionist and Nationalist communities of Northern Ireland. The violence, segregation and hatred grew between the 2 communities over the next 60 years, eventually leading to the introduction of ‘Peace Walls’ at interface areas‘, deployment of the British Army and the formation of paramilitary organisations, such as the Ulster Volunteer Force & the Provisional Irish Republican Army.

In 1998 the Good Friday agreement was drawn up and signed. Its main aim was to reduce the segregation and hatred between the 2 predominant communities in Northern Ireland. Since this date, there have been a large number of positive steps taken by the people of Northern Ireland to bring about a better and shared future for its entire population. This series of photographs examines how far forward we moved and how far we still have to go.