Clár Tillekens is an American Irish photographer born in New York. As a daughter of Irish immigrants who is now based in Europe, her work focuses on plural citizenship, transnationalism, and first-generation identity. Clár explores how culture is altered and maintained through migration. She utilizes varying styles to refer to formative spaces in different countries. She’s currently based between Berlin, Germany and Bristol, England as she completes her MA in Photography at the University of the West of England.
Living outside of both the countries where I have citizenships has enabled me to examine how migration can both change and preserve culture. My series Overseas explores my experience of diaspora as a first-generation American and Irish citizen abroad. Taking on an additional nationality has been a complex experience, amplified by being based in two hostlands—Germany and England. As a relatively new Irish citizen who only lived in the country for a short while, my work explores Irish culture outside of Ireland and the parallels between the places I’m from in both the US and Ireland—New York and Leitrim. I re-contextualize signifiers of Irish culture by showing them in unconventional contexts to allude to the global dispersal of the culture through immigration. Additionally, I show my family’s maintenance of their Irish cultural identity in New York, alongside details of places of personal significance in Ireland. These angles encompass my reflection of my identity as a plural, outsider citizen.
To view more of Clár Tillekens’s work please visit her website.