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Art and Design / October 7, 2021

Ross McDonnell to publish first photography book ‘Joyrider’

BALLYMUN - DUBLIN, IRELAND - Image from Ross McDonnell's book 'Joyrider' (2021).
Art and Design / October 7, 2021

Ross McDonnell to publish first photography book ‘Joyrider’

Words: Dylan Murphy

“The black leather cover is a homage to Honda Civic dashboards the world over”.

Last night on Instagram, Ross McDonnell announced that his first photobook ‘Joyrider’ is available to order.

In a press release ‘Joyrider’ is described as “a coming of age story set against the backdrop of the Ballymun housing estate in Dublin, Ireland. The book documents rites of passage on the ‘block’: experiences that convert youthful abandon to criminal enterprise.”

“Inspired by societal changes in his native Ireland, McDonnell spent several years working in Ballymun as residents were being relocated in anticipation of the complex’s final demolition. The estate, constructed to replace Dublin’s inner city tenements in the 1960s, was a failure from its inception. Despite its utopian vision, the lack of planning and infrastructure rendered the area chronically underdeveloped. Ballymun became an iconic symbol of Dublin’s underclass, ravaged by successive drug epidemics and inter-generational malaise.”

Speaking on ‘Joyrider’, Ross says, “The book was almost two years in the making from start to finish, beginning by scanning and printing all of the work I made for ‘Joyrider’. The pacing and layout of the book was the longest phase, editing and sequencing the images over weeks and months to create the final series. Once that was sorted, the other elements fell into place. The black leather cover is a homage to Honda Civic dashboards the world over.”

It comes after Ross’ debut feature film ‘Colony’ premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the IDFA First Feature Award as well as an Irish Film and Television Award Nomination. Elsewhere, Ross has worked as an image maker moving between disciplines as a Director, Cinematographer and Producer. In 2021 he won an Emmy Award for his Cinematography on the Showtime series The Trade.

You can head to the book launch on October 21 at the Gallery of Photography.

Click here to purchase ‘Joyrider’ from his website.

Elsewhere on District: Rent to bye: Three Dubliner’s in the midst of the Housing Crisis.