Fiona Sinéad Brehony MA Photography

Fiona Sinéad Brehony

The Secret City is a 12-minute document of St Michael’s Flags and Angel Meadow Park, using moving-image, spoken word and contemporary music composition to explore a relationship between new building developments and pieces of Manchester’s social history. 

My research engages in place through memory and history, drawing inspiration from contemporary writers such as Han Kang along with the socio-political and historical observations from Friedrich Engels. I have an interest in Standpoint Theory, exploring how personal perspective can inform experiences of memory and place.

This piece was developed in layers, later turned to acts:

Act 1. High Rise: A conversation between old and new buildings. Do they feel exposed standing alone? Are they united by time and memories of what they have seen?

Act 2. The ground: Pavements and gravestones, and anything related to the Earth. Reincarnated inanimacy. Objects and spaces that have been present to new and old life. A valley.

Act 3. Underland: People buried below surface, inhabitants of the past, remembered through history of this place. What does it mean to have history speak on a person's behalf? How might that feel?

Edited by Caitlin Macintyre.

Music by Simon Knighton.

During Spring 2021, I worked collaboratively with documentary practitioner and researcher, Benjamin Green. The process of our film assisted the way I approached The Secret City. Of responding to place with text; through memory, images, and sound.

Collaboration is a large part of my artistic practice. I am excited by different perspectives and interested in ways this can transform work.