Making Space

Making Space is a timely exploration of the expansion and coexistence of the Islamic faith in contemporary Ireland. Made over the course of three years, this work records the adaptive reuse of spaces for the purpose of prayer by diverse Islamic communities across Ireland.

These images reveal the quiet transformation of everyday spaces in urban, residential and rural locations and records how private homes, warehouses, office spaces and industrial units are being turned into spaces for prayer, providing a unique record of a major though not widely acknowledged, change in Ireland’s built environment.

There is a calmness and informality in the portraits of these spaces. Devoid of any distinction or ornamentation apart from the ubiquitous prayer rugs, the photographs reveal a central quality of Islamic faith – that during sallah (prayer) there is nothing between one’s self and the divine.

This work is a timely counterpoint to contemporary global culture’s paranoia concerning the spread of Islam. With a subtle, pared-back aesthetic, these photographs are straightforward and without ostentation. They testify to the simple ways in which spiritual life can develop within ordinary, everyday settings.

Index Essay: Colin Graham Next Project