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An individual stands in a yard in colourful clothes. Owen/Pink stands in a farm courtyard wearing a blue wig and orange jumpsuit, standing hand on hip.

Photography: Unusual Gestures at Roscommon Arts Centre

2 Feb - 29 Mar 2024

Roscommon Arts Centre, Circular Rd, Ballypheasan, Roscommon


Irish artist Lorraine Tuck’s newly commissioned work tells the story of a family with individuals with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Curated and produced by Photo Museum Ireland this intensely moving and emotionally powerful photographic exhibition is an important contribution to public understanding of neurodivergence and disability.

Tuck is the mother of four children, two boys and two girls. The boys have autism spectrum disorder, which in the case of the youngest, is coupled with an intellectual disability. Unusual Gestures provides insights into the far-reaching implications that neurodiversity and disability present for families. It explores the impacts – some subtle, some fundamental – on parental and sibling relationships, and charts the challenges and joys of everyday family life. The exhibition succeeds in capturing how everyone, neurotypical as well as neurodiverse, forms the centre of their own separate and singular world, while at the same time it celebrates how we are all inescapably inter-connected to the human family tree.

A further series of works in the exhibition focuses on the artist’s uncle Owen. Born in 1972 in Connemara, Owen has Down’s Syndrome and is gender fluid. At times, Owen chooses to live as a woman called ‘Pink’. Owen/Pink has collaborated with Tuck to produce a series of portraits exploring their fluid gender identity with joyful and refreshing honesty.

At its heart, this exhibition is about love more than autism or disability. Transcending a documentary or issue-based record, Tuck’s work is a beautiful and clear-eyed call for acceptance and inclusion.

Unusual Gestures exhibits at the Roscommon Arts Centre until 29 March.

Artist Biography

Lorraine Tuck is a photographer from Co. Galway. She studied photography at Sallynoggin College, Dublin and graduated with a BA (Hons) Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport College. Since graduation, she has spent much of her time making work that has been influenced by the landscape of Connemara, exploring the un-consecrated children’s burial grounds in ‘Cillín/Children in Limbo’, and the Connemara railway line, published in book form as ‘The Whistle Blowing’ (2015). She was commissioned by The Arts Council/Photo Museum Ireland to develop ‘Unusual Gestures’. The exhibition has toured to Galway International Arts Festival, and will be staged at the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny (2023-24). Her work is in numerous private and public collections, including The Arts Council, Office of Public Works, and University of Galway.

Commissioned and curated by Photo Museum Ireland. Developed in partnership with Galway International Arts Festival, Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny, The Commission and the The Arts Council. Images courtesy of Lorraine Tuck.

Spaceman, module and horse, 2019. Work from

The car, 2021. Work from

Uncle Owen in the yard, Work from


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Lorraine Tuck
Photo Museum Ireland
Photography
Roscommon Arts Centre
Unusual Gestures