Dirt as one of the fine arts


Pick up the dirty soup, put in the washing machine, lay out the shirts, tidy up the kitchen, vacuum the living room, wash the bathroom, cook. One day. And other. And other. The chores at home become, if you ask the millions of women who work inside and outside the home, in a real nightmare. A loop in which to feel trapped every day.

Therefore, in a first impression, the images that Clare Gallagher has photographed catch you. They have something that makes them hypnotic, a composition that distinguishes them. There are in those pieces of life that breathe on its four sides an exaltation and an exaltation of dust, garbage, dirt. How not to be surprised at a mottled handkerchief of blood drops? whose is it? Or before a taper that still contains the remains of an extinct dish since it had tomato sauce?

This photographer, who is a teacher, as well as a housewife and mother, has painted authentic still lifes at the camera. In the antipodes of the beautiful quietism of Sánchez Cotán, to give an example, Gallagher makes the impossible possible: that the ugly may exhibit its beauty. "The Second Shift", which has just been published in the United Kingdom with a single circulation of 500 copies, could be defined as a newspaper.

"What really bothers me is that you become an expert in these tasks," says the artist to "The Guardian," adding that "our economic system could not work without all this hidden work that is unpaid." Gallagher teaches photography at the University of Ulster and tells how his day to day is when he closes the classroom door, after having taught, and puts the key in the lock of his house, ready to return to homework, this unpaid .

Cold colors

Define this volume as "a quietly angry book." And it is like that poetry of the miserable by everyday life with which the artist plays. The stacks of dirty clothes or the drum that pours its last drop on the kitchen stack have, what to deny, a staging that still gives them a plus. They are not just any images, but pictures that illustrate the future of each one of us. She has revealed how the hidden, quiet and anonymous work of so many women is.

The tones he uses are rather cold, as if he didn't want to recreate himself in the fate of color or heat. Their works are not a separate island, but they can remind the images of the Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi. who lives and works in Tokyo, although its objective exceeds the scope of the home. Can there be beauty in a garbage can? In his images there is.

Gallagher began as a mere amateur who was studying and learning. He confesses that he rebelled against a world, that of the camera, which he considered eminently masculine. He says that he works slowly, that when he has an idea and until the captain does not look at the clock, that when he scans (before we would say positive) he looks for no dust motes to contaminate. «You have to be patient. It is necessary, you cannot hurry when doing a job like this, ”he explains.

“Domestic drift” in Barcelona

Clare Gallagher's work is known in Spain. In fact, in 2013 he exhibited a part of his works in the H2O gallery in Barcelona under the heading "Domestic drift", a set of works in which his environment prevailed. There was one more point of beauty in them, even portraying their children. The light bathed every corner of the home and sneaked through each of the corners. There were colored clothes, striped socks and even a handful of daisies.

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