This artwork is part of Youth of the Island Field (2019-2021), a collection of portraits by award-winning documentary photographer Tamara Eckhardt. Tamara lived in Ireland as a child, and her work often focuses on themes of childhood and growing up. Since 2019, she has been visiting and accompanying young people in St Mary’s Park, and getting to know their families. St Mary’s Park was built in the 1930s to faciliate slum clearance in Limerick, and is known locally as the Island Field. There is a strong community spirit on the Island Field, where everyone knows everyone, is fiercely loyal, and suspicious of outsiders. The living conditions in the area are difficult, yet the young people develop coping skills, and find ways to divert themselves. Tamara has spent so much time with them that they have come to suspend suspicion, and to trust in her and her camera.
Tamara Eckhardt (b. 1995) lives and works as a portrait and documentary photographer in Berlin. Her focus is often on marginalised or isolated social groups who experience prejudice or negative portrayal in mainstream media; she aims to capture a more nuanced portrait of communities. In 2021, she graduated from the renowned Ostkreuzschule for photography in Berlin. She has been awarded and shortlisted for numerous awards including the International Women Photographers Association Award, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Award, German Youth Photo Award, Kolga Tbilisi Newcomer Award, and the World Report Award. You can find out more about her work at www.tamaraeckhardt.com.