Sally Ryan Graver

Then and Now

Title  :- Then and Now 

A photographic exhibition 

Then and Now

In 2016, Cambridge House, a once grand Georgian Town house on Montpellier Hill, Dublin 7, was put up for sale. It was then in a derelict state. The house, crumbling and dying, evoked memories of loss, sadness and death, while at the same time forever holding in its bricks and mortar the stories of those who had lived there.  And that included me. So I took the opportunity to revisit what was my old home.

“Then and Now” is a response to this emotive journey.

“Cambridge House is one of the more interesting and important buildings along Montpelier Hill and is an integral element of both the architectural heritage and social history of Dublin.”  T.J.O’Meara - Thesis 2008  source (IAA).

Over the years the street has been noted by architects for its many different styles of houses including Regency, Dutch Billy, Georgian and Artisan.

Cambridge House, once home to the Duke of the same name, later housed other gentry, wealthy merchants, high-ranking officers etc. With the decline of the neighbourhood the house was set in flats, becoming home to the working classes (and even an artist - Jerome Connor).  My parents moved in in 1943. The occupants on the street at that time were a mix of different social classes. They ranged from Brigadiers and Gentry with their butlers, chauffeurs, cooks etc to the most impoverished unskilled workers in tenements. That made it a very interesting place to live and grow up in.

Central to the work is my family photograph as it is a blending of time and space through merging an old photograph with one taken on my return visit.

The rest of the work consists of 30 such photographs, archival documentation and records.  Accompanying the work are a collection of historic records, including maps, birth, death and marriage certificates and old photographs of historic houses demolished in the 1960s.


NCAD CEAD Exhibition Certificate in Photography & Digital Imaging,  2013

Solo Exhibition Elbow Room  exhibited as part of the Stoneybatter Street History Festival in 2013.