Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Karla Byrne 

BA [Hons] Photography

Karla Byrne is a contemporary photographer based in Gorey, Co. Wexford. She has been interested in photography from an early age and began photography as a hobby around the age of 13. She works solely with the still image, mainly digital and has preferred using black and white for the past couple of years. Karla has always found herself drawn to place and how a photograph can communicate a sense of it. She is currently working with self-portraiture in relation to mental health, exploring what a self-portrait can say about a person and their mental state or well being, using her own mental health as the starting point.


‘Leafless‘ explores mental health through photography using Byrne’s own struggles as a starting point for a series of self-portraits. She turns the camera on herself posing bare, vulnerable and with nowhere to hide, to show how the state of your mental health can affect your mind and body. Capturing motion to allude to feeling of a scrambled mind, the images explore how mental health manifests itself in the body.

Photography and the Anthropocene: Visual Representations of the Anthropocene

This thesis will explore photographic representations of the proposed Anthropocene epoch and how effective they are in communicating the issue. Aerial photographs of the Anthropocene will be analysed and through the thesis, it will be established why they communicate both a beautiful and sublime Anthropocene. Analysis of work by Tom Hegen, Edward Burtynsky and George Steinmetz will show how aerial photographs of the Anthropocene are not effective in communicating the issue and the problems they bring.

The thesis will then go on to analyse photographs of the Anthropocene that are more effective in communicating the issue. Work by Pieter Hugo and Richard Misrach will be discussed and how they visualise the effects of the Anthropocene on both the people and landscape more effectively. Through analysis of this work, a conclusion will be reached on what photography communicates the Anthropocene effectively and why this is the case.