Kate Nolan


Kate Nolan is an Irish visual artist specialising in extended photographic stories that examine the human condition. Her practice involves working closely with her subjects over time and then illustrating their circumstances through images and text. Through this evolving practice, her subject matter has moved towards gender issues as she explores her own position within a contemporary context.

Neither, her long-term work exploring the lives of women in Kaliningrad, Russia won the Alliance Française Photography Award 2013 and has been exhibited in Dublin, London, Cardiff, Minneapolis and Russia. This work will be published as an artist book later this year. Since 2013 she has been working on (its kind of like) telephone, a collaborative project between Irish and American female artists, which was exhibited at the Center for Emerging Visual Artists in Philadelphia. In addition, she is currently researching for a new project MNÁ, which will explore the position of women in contemporary Irish society.



Neither is an exploration into the hearts of young women in Kaliningrad. The first generation to have grown up after the collapse of the Soviet Union, they look to define their identity in this small 'island' within Europe. The women I have been living with and sharing with have generously opened up their homes and their minds to allow me to better understand the links between place, identity and history.

Kaliningrad Oblast's geographic isolation of being neither a part of Europe, nor being physically connected to the motherland gives this area its uniqueness. The region has had a short but complex history only becoming Russian after WW11. It then closed its borders during the cold war, and with the collapse of the Soviet Union it was severed from mainland Russia. This has left Kaliningrad in the fragile position of being an exclave of Russia and an enclave of the EU. This fragility is countered by the strong women that have guided me through the stories of this region telling me of their dreams and fears. Caught between their strong Russian roots and the new Europe these women search out their place amidst these two worlds.