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Darren Ryan exhibition, ‘A Different Way To Be’ is a visual reflection of the Magdalene Laundries

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Darren Ryan exhibition ‘A Different Way To Be” is a visual reflection on 50 years of working and living in the shadow of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland.

The show is a blend of traditional photographic and digital techniques creating the imagery

By I Love Limerick correspondent Ellie McCarthy

Darren is well-known and a beloved face in Limerick.

Limerick born photographer Darren Ryan is set to be in front of the camera for once as his photographic works ‘A Different Way To Be’ launches in the Record Room at The Commercial Bar on Catherine Street on Friday, October 21 at 7 pm.


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The show is set to be a visual reflection on 50 years of working and living in the shadow of the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. The Magdalene Laundries in Ireland, also known as Magdalene asylums, were institutions usually run by Roman Catholic orders, which operated from the 18th to the late 20th centuries. They were run ostensibly to house “fallen women”, an estimated 30,000 of whom were confined in these institutions in Ireland. In 1993, unmarked graves of 155 women were uncovered in the convent grounds of one of the laundries.

The art, which was created during the covid-19 lockdown, is a salute to the resilience and strength of Limerick Women.

Darren’s work has previously been described as “quirky and highly collectable” and this Darren Ryan exhibition is a blend of both traditional photographic techniques and digital techniques and combined, these create the new imagery.

Darren was a student at Limerick School of Art and Design where he graduated with a degree in Visual Communications (Graphic Design) and a degree in Photography, Film and Video. Darren is now the founder of Pigtown Media which offers a variety of different services from wedding photography to fine art event documentation.

Pigtown Media consists of Limerick-based Artists, Photographers, Designers, Filmmakers, Musicians and Writers with a wide range of local, national, and international experience in producing online digital media solutions for a broad range of clientele.

Past clients include Virgin Media, Limerick County Council, By Appointment, The Hunt Museum, the Technical University of the Shannon, Limerick School of Art and Design and more.

Darren’s work is also in the permanent collection of the Arts Council of Ireland and the National Museum. Recently, his work has also been added to the Irish National Curriculum in the Art History section.

Darren adores all forms of photography but has a particular soft spot for street photography. If you are ever looking for Darren, chances are you could find him in the Milk Market on a Saturday, with his camera in hand capturing the day-to-day life in Limerick.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend the event.

The exhibit will be available for viewing at The Commercial Bar until Sunday, November 6, 2022. 

For more information on Pigtown Media, go HERE

For more stories on art, go HERE

The art, which was created during the covid-19 lockdown, is a salute to the resilience and strength of Limerick Women.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.