Image Now has been working closely with Dublin Airport over the past number of years to help embed more of Ireland’s rich culture and heritage into the airport environment and to enhance passenger experiences overall. Airports are generally the gateway to a location — they introduce its culture and personality — and, as such, it is important that they leave a lasting impression on passengers. It is no longer acceptable for an airport just to exist as a functional space. Passengers are demanding more from the airport experience and arts & culture are at the top of the list. This not only results in more inviting spaces for passengers, it also allows airports to build their own brand personality and establish deeper connections with passengers.
During the construction of a new Boarding Zone, Dublin Airport approached Image Now and invited us to design a creative installation that would help to bring the space to life. As passengers would have a lot of dwell time in the area, we wanted to develop a solution with an initial ‘wow’ factor but one that also had a story behind it, a story that passengers could engage with while waiting in the space.
Our concept, All in a Name, is an installation that tells the story behind the most powerful and prominent surnames in Irish history. It showcases real Irish people that bear these surnames today and it also celebrates the breathtaking locations where these family names originated. Our team worked closely with genealogists Eneclann to identify the top surnames from around Ireland and we asked them to assist us in compiling a short history for each of the names. The historical stories talk of battles, kings, crowns and castles — stories that would enthral even the most devoted Game of Thrones fan.
Once the stories were agreed, we scouted far and wide to find a range of people, from all ages and profiles, to represent the family names. We selected eight Irish people from Ulster, Connacht, Leinster and Munster and captured their profiles with the help of renowned photographer Trevor Hart. We then worked with the talented photo retoucher, Dona Gorska, to double-expose the amazing location shots over the portraits.
The outcome is a series of images that capture the faces, locations and stories behind the people of Ireland. To embellish the images further, we reimagined the family crests and positioned them at the top of each piece, proudly branding them with their heritage.
The portraits are housed in 2.5m2 light boxes, which are positioned along the main feature wall within the new Boarding Zone. The illuminated square portraits work in harmony with the overhead light fittings, creating a glow of geometric light imbued with artistic history.
All in a Name is an exhibition that we hope to grow over time, as there are so many Irish surnames and locations yet to be featured. What was once an underutilised space, has now been transformed into an area that allows passengers to uncover the meaning and stories behind Irish surnames and discover everyday people, just like them, that carry that history today . . . all in the name.
Photographer: Trevor Hart
Photo Re-toucher: Dona Gorska