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chloe dewe matthews

Exhibition: Chloe Dewe Matthews – Shot at Dawn

December 11, 2015

A new body of work by Chloe Dewe Matthews is being showcased in Dublin, featuring images of the places where British, French, and Belgian soldiers were executed during the First World War. This haunting project brings us to not only the setting but also the time of day and season in which the men lost their lives, allowing us to see as closely as possible what they experienced in their last moments.

An Award-Winning Photographer

Chloe Dewe Matthews is based in London and has several photographic awards to her name. She started out studying fine art at the Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Oxford before going on to work in the film industry. She then turned to photography as a full-time occupation and has put on exhibitions throughout Britain and Europe. Her work has also been featured in international publications such as the Guardian, Le Monde, and the Times. The awards she has won include the Julia Margaret Cameron New Talent Award, the Flash Forward Emerging Photographer’s Award, and the British Journal of International Photography Award.

She has also been nominated for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize, the MACK First Book Award, and the Prix Pictet. She also took the position of Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Her work is considered influential and has been acquired by collections such as the British Council Collection and the National Library of Wales.

Shot At Dawn

The Shot at Dawn exhibition contains images of 23 different locations where soldiers were held before execution as well as their places of execution. The soldiers were executed for desertion or for cowardice, and Matthews aimed to take the images in as realistically accurate a way as possible. This meant matching up the times of year as well as the times of day in which soldiers are recorded as having been shot. Alongside each image is a list of the names, dates, and times of the soldiers who were shot at that location.

The series was commission by the Ruskin School of Art as part of a centenary art collection for WW1. It was also sponsored by Genesis Imaging, with support from bodies such as the British Council, Government of Flanders, National Lottery through Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, John Fell OUP Research Fund, and Van Houten Fund.

A book has been produced alongside the exhibition to showcase all of the images as well as more photographs of the commission being undertaken. It contains critical analysis as well as essays on topics of cowardice and desertion in military service. Shot at Dawn comes to the Irish Museum of Modern Art after a period at Tate Modern and Stills: Scotland’s Centre for Photography in Edinburgh.

Getting there

The Irish Museum of Modern Art will hold the Shot at Dawn exhibition until the 7th February 2016. Admission to the museum is free, and you will be able to visit between the hours of 11.30am and 5.30pm (10am opening on Saturday, 12pm on Sunday). It is closed on Mondays. Last admission daily is at 5.15pm.

The museum entrance is on Military Road in Dublin, and can be reached by an eight minute walk from the Heuston Station whether travelling by underground or overground train. Buses also service the area and there is parking on site for those who wish to drive. Exhibitions which can also be seen during the same time period include What We Call Love: From Surrealism to Now, E.gress by Marie Brett and Kevin O’Shanahan, Plura by Daphne Wright, and a film residence by Grace Weir.

Next On

The Shot at Dawn exhibition will soon be moving to mainland Europe. It will be featured at Ivorypress in Madrid from the 26th of May 2016. No further shows are yet planned after this one, which ends in July 2016.


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