Gareth McConnell - On Survival

Gem Fletcher speaks to photographer Gareth McConnell in the second episode of a three-part series in partnership with Seen Fifteen Gallery. The Troubles Generation - an ongoing curatorial project by Vivienne Gamble invites artists who grew up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles to shed new light on the impact of being brought up in an era of intense sectarian violence. 

Gareth McConnell is a London-based photographer with diverse interests and many styles of approach. His work as a fine artist has been given recognition in monographs, cover features, and articles including from Steidl/Photoworks, Frieze, and Aperture. His fine art prints are widely collected. In the past, he has worked as a documentary photographer for the New York Times, and served high-end fashion – Vogue Homme, Pop, and AnOther, and clients like Dior, Gucci and Chloe. He has worked in the music industry with artists including Sia, Disclosure and Ivan Smagghe. McConnell has actively instigated non-commercial projects with other artists and writers, publishing them under his imprint Sorika, and has co-curated a show at London’s ICA, and talk events at the ICA and Tate Modern. McConnell has shown at many galleries and fairs, including Carl Freedman Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, Kasmin Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Photographers’ Gallery. He is represented in significant private and public collections. He increasingly values a direct relationship with audiences through his websites and social media platforms. 

Looking ahead to a significant future moment in UK and Irish history with the 25th anniversary of The Good Friday Agreement in 2023, The Troubles Generation project seeks to examine the legacy of The Troubles from the viewpoint of artists born into its divided society and with lived experience of growing up with conflict as the backdrop to their lives. Taking a phased approach to developing photographic projects and new writing, the ultimate ambition is to create a large-scale touring exhibition in 2023. The project's first phase at Seen Fifteen has been generously supported by the Genesis Kickstart Fund, enabling three solo exhibitions with Martin Seeds, Gareth McConnell and Audrey Blue. 

Seen Fifteen is an independent emerging gallery and project space in Peckham, South East London. Seen Fifteen’s artistic programme champions contemporary photography with a focus on emerging, diverse and experimental artists who expand the boundaries of the medium. Founded in 2015 by curator Vivienne Gamble, the gallery has hosted a number of widely acclaimed first UK solo shows for breakthrough photographic artists such as Laura El-Tantawy, Jan McCullough, Maya Rochat and Martin Seeds. 

Follow Gareth @garethwmcconnell Seen Fifteen @seenfifteen & Gem @gemfletcher on Instagram. If you've enjoyed this episode, PLEASE leave us your feedback in the Apple Podcast store. Thank you for listening to The Messy Truth. We will be back very soon. For all requests, please email 

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