Youth of the Island Field
Youth of the Island Field is a collection of portraits by award-winning documentary photographer Tamara Eckhardt. Tamara lived in Ireland as a child, and her work often focuses on themes of childhood and growing up. Since 2019, she has been visiting and accompanying young people on the Island Field, and getting to know their families. The portraits show the physical appearance of the children, but also hint at their personalities and everyday activities including playing, minding relatives, repairing toys, caring for animals, and the moments in between, offering intimate insights into life on the Island Field.
Built in the 1930s, St Mary’s Park was the first social housing estate in Limerick. Located on King’s Island and bordered by the River Shannon, the estate is almost cut off from the surrounding city, and is known locally as the Island Field. St Mary’s Park scores high on the Pobal Deprivation Index; nevertheless it has a strong community spirit where everyone knows everyone, is fiercely loyal, and suspicious of outsiders. The living conditions in the area are difficult, yet the young people develop coping skills, and find ways to divert themselves. Tamara has spent so much time with them that they have come to suspend suspicion, and to trust in her and her camera.
Tamara Eckhardt (b. 1995) lives and works as a portrait and documentary photographer in Berlin. Her focus is often on marginalised or isolated social groups who experience prejudice or negative portrayal in mainstream media; she aims to capture a more nuanced portrait of communities. In 2021, she graduated from the renowned Ostkreuzschule for photography in Berlin. She has been awarded and shortlisted for numerous awards including the International Women Photographers Association Award, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award, German Youth Photo Award, Kolga Tbilisi Newcomer Award, and the World Report Award. You can find out more about her work here: www.tamaraeckhardt.com
Youth of the Island Field will run from 20 April to 11 June 2022. The exhibition is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Limerick City & County Council.