Tag Archives: West Cork

A SECRET GARDEN by Alison Cronin and Emma Jervis


Tenderness in the air


                                                            ” She’ll lead you down a path,

                                                            There’ll be tenderness in the air,

                                                            She’ll let you come just far enough,

                                                               So you, know she’s really there,

                                                              She’ll look at you and smile,

                                                                     And her eyes will say,

                                                                She’s got a secret garden,

                                                               Where everything you want,

                                                              Where everything you need,

                                                                        Will always stay,

                                                                    A million miles away”.

From A Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen



A secret garden she hides



She’ll let you come just far enough



A million miles away



The parts of herself


Inspired by the Bruce Springsteen song of the same name this collaborative project between a visual artist and photographer was developed for the West Cork Creates exhibition in Skibbereen in August 2016.

The collaboration between Emma’s photography and Alison’s cutting and collaging techniques resulted in a series of multi-layered images with multiple meanings, suggesting our own inner garden, the pathways we continuously and habitually tread in our mind, the hedges long grown over behind which we hide, and the patterns in nature that mirror our inner experiences.

Emma produced a series of photographs of the human body in wild garden locations around West Cork, using Alison as the model and including double- exposed and macro images. Alison developed the images further, combining them using cut-out patterns and detail, and collaging photographs together to create relief collages that are artefacts in themselves.

These images are Emma’s photographic record of the three-dimensional artefacts.


Alison Cronin is a visual artist, and arts facilitator, based in West Cork, Ireland. Her practice includes a combination of drawing, collage, painting and installation, often working with found or archival images, particularly old photographs. Her distinctive technique of cutting-through emphasises the nature of the photograph as both illusion and physical object.

Alison graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology BA in Visual Art based on Sherkin Island, off the south coast of Cork, with first class honours in 2010. She works as Schools Coordinator at West Cork Arts Centre and is co-founder of Shape Art Studio, Skibbereen. See more of her work here.

 Emma Jervis is a freelance photographer based in West Cork, Ireland. Alongside her commercial practice as a wedding and press photographer she has a thriving creative practice which includes experimental techniques such as collodion wet plate photography. People, and their relationship with their environment, both internally and externally, influence her work. Currently she is exploring working with multiple exposures, to highlight the many layers we put up around us to protect us, and with macro photography finding echoes of our own experiences, pathways and patterns in natures detail. Visit Emma’s website for more of her work