The Invisible In-between: An Englishman's Search For The Irish Border

13 images Created 26 Jan 2019

Tristan Poyser’s latest project The Invisible In-between: An Englishman’s Search For The Irish Border, began as a response to the results of the UK’s Brexit referendum. Poyser has spent the last two years travelling and photographing the full length of the 510 km Irish border. Then tearing his photographs in half.
The materiality of the border is shown through a physical tear, making the invisible, visible. The act of tearing creates uneasiness, evoking notions of the political and economic tensions surrounding the border's position within the Brexit negotiations, symbolising the divorce of the UK from the 27 remaining states. The Invisible In-between shows the viewer the reality of the border & encourages them to explore the intangible nature & uneasiness surrounding it.
Poyser walked areas of with Irish border born poets Conor O’Callaghan, & Jacqui Devenney Reed, and consulted with author of The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border. (Faber & Faber) Garrett Carr.

In an introduction to the The Invisible In-between Carr writes,

“Poyser went further than just photographing the route of this invisible frontier. He has taken hold of the physical photographs and ripped them along the borderline. Each tear is, I think, a stroke of brilliance. It is more of an act than a mark, although it has left a visual record of itself, and it is more eloquent than one hundred newspaper articles about the border.”

The Invisible In-between documents the border during the time of uncertainty between the invocation of Article 50 in March 2017 and the UK’s planned withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. Although the border acts as an administrative and political division, Poyser describes it as ‘an imaginary boundary’ with little physical evidence of its existence.“I was quite conscious that I wanted these images to be a record in time, as when Article 50 was invoked no-one knew how the border would be impacted, and we still don’t”

Poyser invited the public to consider the impact of their referendum vote, on those living on the Irish border and how it will impact the future. He asks them to tear the photograph where they think the border is, And write a comment about this two year period of uncertainty and Brexit. Nobody wanted a physical border, the reaction emotions were strong on all sides.
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