Sam Irons Interview: 1000 Words Photography

1000 Words Magazine – Sam Irons on Photography


Photos of Jeremy and family at Sam’s exhibition premiere

Jeremy, Sinead, Max and Sam were all at Jacobson Space in London on 7 January 2010 for the Private Viewing of the new exhbition “Nowhere…do we go from here?”.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images:

Photography: ‘Don’t make me sound teenaged,’ says Sam Irons – Times Online

Photographer Sam Irons is evidently a bit of a romantic, but then he pleads: “Don’t make me sound too teenaged.” The son of the actors Jeremy Irons and Sinéad Cusack is trying to explain his eerie, faintly threatening photographs, now showing at Jacobson Space in London alongside works by other emerging artists as well as such heavyweights as Andreas Gursky and Gerhard Richter.

A deserted French art fair, unpainted wooden booths free of art or the blank-walled back of a flashy New Mexico casino — empty of people, action or life of any kind, Irons’s images are stripped of narrative in an attempt to capture what he says is his experience of being in the world: “knowing but not knowing, belonging but not belonging, understanding but not understanding”, without the benefit of hindsight to really comprehend the significance of any given experience. Bumbling through life, essentially, as we all do.

Irons, 30, describes his overarching theme as “fairly teenagey existentialist angst”, which he feeds, to an extent, by heading off on road trips on his own, armed with his beloved Hasselblad camera, a tripod and a tent, to see what he can find. He admits that there is a certain romance to it (enhanced by his refusal to shoot with a digital camera, citing the superior tonality of film: “I’ve never seen a decent digital picture of a grey sky”).

“I went to Japan on my own and I had a really lonely, terrible time staying in a capsule hotel for an entire month — there’s an element of self-flagellation. I went out every day and shot, shot, shot and then I got home and found that my Hasselblad had a light leak the whole time. I got about a film and a half, which was a stab to the heart. But I still shoot on the same camera.”

The pictures have something of the stage set about them; perhaps not surprising when you consider his day job — a film location scout — and of course, his parentage. Didn’t he ever feel tempted to take to the boards in their wake? “I did a film when I was 9, but I just never got the bug,” he says. “I love actors, I love being around them, they’re great fun, if occasionally … exasperating, but I find it much easier on the other side of the lens. Growing up with two quite well-known parents you feel you’re being looked at a lot and I wanted to turn the tables.”

Nowhere … do we go from here? is at Jacobson Space, 6 Cork Street, London W1, until Jan 30

via Photography: ‘Don’t make me sound teenaged,’ says Sam Irons – Times Online.

Sam Irons exhibition at Jacobson Space


Sam Irons interviewed by Contact Photography blog

Thursday, 4 June 2009

a conversation with sam irons

Landscape photographer Sam Irons was also recently selected to be taken on by LPA Futures. His images are those of quiet exploration and contemplation, in which landscapes are sparse and stripped of context, encouraging us to re-evaluate the space. I spoke to him briefly about his practice:

How have you found the journey of finishing university to being recruited by a commercial agent? Can you tell us how you’ve reached this point…
Since graduating from Brighton, I have worked freelance as a Location Scout. This has allowed me to continue with my own practice, relatively unimpeded by financial pressures, or the worry of how to ‘succeed’ as a photographer. Basically like a continuation of Art School. I’ve shown when I could, and continued to make work that I like, or tried. However, at some point it feels like you have to make a choice in what you aim for, and thereby how you are going to support yourself. I was very lucky in that the LPA Futures competition was my first go at it – although in itself it’s no guarantee that clients will want to commission me…

What do you feel are the main themes recurring in your work?
Basically landscape as an allegory for my experience of being in the world- and as there’s a lot of it that I don’t understand, I’m drawn to landscapes that are not so easily interpreted, that leave you asking how or why they are like that.

Your images are quite clean, and almost geometric in the composition, to the point that the places you photograph take on an element of the surreal- what are you searching for/considering when you take an image?
I think photographs are always surreal, but I also definitely encourage it – I think it’s about defamiliarising yourself, reconnecting with the oddness of being in the world. And again it comes down to not knowing – both photography and life hold this promise of knowledge that they never quite deliver on.

Do you have any advice that you can offer emerging photographers?

I can’t really offer that much at this stage of my career – only that it’s much less exhausting to stick to your own vision rather than trying to conform to others’.

New photos by Sam Irons

Sam Irons has added new photos to his website:

All photos copyright Sam Irons.

Click on the photos for larger images:


Jeremy Irons spotted in Epidaurus


“Jeremy Irons heading to his seat, the girls go wild,
so do the flashes…”

epidaurus jeremy irons
greece1 greece2 greece3
from Metis on

“Anyway, the performance in Epidaurus was excellent. The theatre was full (15,000 people) and the atmosphere awesome. Rebecca Hall (Peter Hall’s daughter, the brunette in ‘Vicky, Christina, Barcelona’) was outstanding; in fact everyone was very good and they looked like they were enjoying themselves, not just performing. Ethan Hawke was very entertaining as the shameless peddler and pickpocket; he played the guitar and sang a couple of songs too.

Jeremy Irons was in the audience looking sexy as usual (his wife was in the play and I think she was my favorite). He went all the way up to the top rows; probably wanted to appreciate the famous acoustics of the theatre. Kevin Spacey was there too (apparently he is the artistic director of the Old Vic Theatre in London which was part of this production).”
from Lauren O’Hara on

“EPIDAVROS, like Limassol’s Curium, is one the great ancient amphitheatres of the world and on Saturday night it was full to its 10,000 capacity for the final performance of the festival’s A Winter’s Tale.

The tragedy of wildfires raged around Athens once more, making the sunset eerily spectacular. At nightfall, the sky above the ancient site was clear and starlit as was the star-studded audience that waited for the unique Shakespeare: half tragic, half comic.

Jeremy Irons arrived looking curiously like Dumbledore to support his wife Sinead Cusack, who was playing Paulina. As he, embarrassingly, walked up the ancient steps to find his seat amont us, he looking surprisingly shy to be seen, although one couldn’t help but feel that the full length white kaftan and flowing brown robe were always going to be a giveaway. He was quickly followed by Kevin Spacey who received even louder cheers and took his seat amiably among us plebs just a few old stones away from where we sat.”