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Knock, Knock

Artist Name(s) Jane Talbot
Artwork title Knock, Knock
Context/Background Artist Jane Talbot's photography project was developed from her interest in the social landscape of a particular street in Galway. As a citizen of the rapidly developing city, Talbots work grew from a personal interest in documenting ideas of change what had been traditionally been perceived as an old area of the city.  

The project highlighted the talent, diversity, continuity and change that lies in a small community within this busy city. The resulting images were exhibited in Galway Arts Centre in June 2006 as a solo exhibition entitled Knock, Knock. The show attracted the largest exhibition audience figures that year.


Knock Knock is both a crossover point and a celebration. It embraces photography, art in the community, architecture, social document and local history. Through the deep investigation and getting to know a smaller area and community of a place, the artist by literally knocking on doors assembles the individuals from each house, a community in itself and brings them together in one complex image and series of individual portraits.

Moving from house to house, and by including every man, woman, and child the project, the imagery has a universal meaning and deep connection with the local, and how the local is a reflection of a wider society. The project is challenging the ideas of an old Galway and how its stands side by side with New Ireland. The imagery collected reflects the multi-cultural streets in which we now all live.

According to the artist:

"People talk of 'Old Galway' but in fact the terraced housing in The West is only about 90 years old. There are now third and even forth generation descendants of the original occupants living here. I believe if it had been possible to do Knock Knock in 1920 we might be looking at many of the same faces we are looking at today."The photographs were displayed in chronological order so the audience could take a virtual tour of the streets and experience a part of Galway that has managed to retain its own unique character in a rapidly changing city.


The work is now part of Galway City Council's collection, and will be exhibited every 10 years in Galway City Museum.


Originally from Donegal, Jane Talbot has been involved in the arts since she joined Macnas in 1987. Her work encompasses theatre, visual, and community art.  Recent work includes Cullairbaun Community Album, a photographic record of the residents of the Cullairbaun housing estate in Athenry; The Red Handbag, in which the artist explores a womans place in the world through the medium of her handbag; A Woman Alone, written by Dario Fo and performed by Jane in Manchester and the Galway Theater Festival. In March 2009 her exhibition was on show at the Signal Arts Centre in Bray. 

Commission Type The Arts Council
Commissioner Name Artist initiated/ self directed
Commissioning process Artist initiated/ self directed
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By Galway City Council
Percent for art Yes
Location The area in Galway city known as 'The West', including Henry Street, St Joseph's Avenue, St Johns Terrace, St Johns Place, and included some traders on the Sea Road.
County Galway
Town Galway
Street Address Henry Street, St Josephs Avenue, St Johns Terrace, St Johns Place, and the Sea Road.
Google Map Insert View this projects location
Content contributor(s) Megs Morley
Relationship to project Public Art Officer
Public engagement

The residents of the area in Galway city known as 'The West'.