The Sweet & Lowdown – 24th June 2014
The exhibition brings to local audiences Joe’s stunning scenes of nature and landscapes from across the region, which international audiences have been enjoying for many years: “A couple of years ago I started putting my pictures online and my Flickr photo stream now attracts between 8,000 and 10,000 views daily and is coming up to 6 million views to date. In all, I have almost 13,000 images there from all over Ireland and especially the south east counties. They are all heavily tagged and come up often in local searches for places and items of interest. I can see who’s looking at the pictures and what kind of pictures attract the most interest. It’s usually pictures of our local area that people go for, but there would be a lot of people from outside the area looking at them, probably tourists who plan on visiting the area or people who have already done so.”
Joe became interested in photography at a young age and the avid cycle racer, who has been involved with Carrick Wheelers for many years, often managed to combine his two hobbies: “I’ve always loved photography, I’ve been taking pictures since I was going to school. My fi rst camera was a little plastic thing, bought in Woolworths. I can remember taking a picture with it of some show that was on the telly. That was back in the day when lines would have been running down the screen so the image was hard to get, the result wasn’t exactly great. But I was already hooked at that stage.“Whenever I went out cycling with the club, I’d have the camera with me in a pocket so I would have shot loads that way over the years. Or, if I saw something that interested me whilst we were out cycling, I’d go back out the road again later on to get the pictures.”
“I worked in Honeywell for 24 years, on two, three and four shifts but I would have always been taking pictures in my free time. About six years ago I actually broke my wrist whilst I was out taking a picture of a sunset in Fiddown, would you believe. Shortly after that an opportunity for redundancy came up so I took it and I’ve been pursuing the photography full time ever since. And I’ve passed on the interest to my daughter Catriona, she would have come out taking pictures with me over the years and she’s now starting a course herself in photography.”
The Mooncoin man has been a member of Carrick Camera Club for a number of years: “The club is a great way to learn from other people who have a shared love of photography, I’ve picked up so much advice from the other members. We also regularly go on photography trips together. Recent ones would have been to Kildare’s Butterfl y Farm, to the Saltee Islands and just last week to photograph the Coolfi n birds of prey. Some of the pictures that came back from that trip are amazing.”Joe’s pictures have been selling well on national and international websites for some time and his work is evidently a stunning advertisement for the region: “My pictures are for sale on a number of websites, including Fine Art America, which is a huge site. One of my pictures on that site has actually sold twice. It’s an image of the River Suir with huge bubbles super-imposed over it, called ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’.”
Which brings us to Joe’s other great love – music, and especially the music of Pink Floyd: “I’ve been a Pink Floyd fan all my life. I have over 200 of their recordings, everything from albums to live shows – both legally and illegally recorded. I’m a big fan of Neil Young as well, I think I have everything he’s ever recorded. I managed to see Pink Floyd live twice, once in the US and once in Northern Ireland.”
The exhibition currently running at Ferrybank Library is Joe’s second solo show – his work also hung at Garter Lane earlier this year. The Ferrybank exhibition features 13 framed pictures which, Joe says, include a complete cross-section of his work – but especially the local scenes he has become renowned for: “I like to photograph scenes that people recognize so the exhibition has two images of the new bridge, taken from different locations, as well as a sunset at Fiddown, a reflection on the River Suir, the Dunbrody at night, an image from Passage…people always love to see familiar sights.”
* Joe Cashin’s exhibition at Ferrybank Library runs until 27th February. For more of Joe’s work, see www.flickr.com/photos/ joecashin/.
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