When, therefore, a vital, devoted American photographer, Brad Temkin, comes to Ireland, travels through the country, meeting the people, chatting with them, keeping his eyes and ears open. What sort of Ireland do we expect him to come up with? Well, like all good artists, Temkin makes us question our own expectations. Or to put it another way, he substitutes surprise for predictability. His images startle us into a sense of the novelty of what we had taken for granted. He has his own way of seeing; and he remains true to that way, not stubbornly, not blindly, but with a conviction that he can make the centuries surrender some of their secrets, compel history to yield up images that might otherwise have gone unnoticed, and persuade ancient Ireland to reveal certain of it’s stunning treasures. Brad Temkin is, literally, a thief of time. He has picked time’s pocket with deft skill, even with a certain charm. The results, these pictures which become more riveting the more one considers them, are there for our delighted contemplation.
Contemplation and concentrated acts of attention are what Brad Temkin’s pictures unapologetically demand. Furthermore, until they receive that prolonged contemplation and those sustained acts of attention, they will not surrender their mesmeric secrets, their calm revelations of a life that often speaks of another, a more ancient time.