Ciara Duffy lives and works in New York City. She received her BFA in Photography in 2012 from The Savannah College of Art and Design and her MFA in Imaging Arts from The Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016.
Ciara’s photography focuses on a diaristic style of portraiture. The successes within much of her work is weighted by time passed, and the intimacy that enfolds from this passage of time. Her MFA thesis work, Down, Down, Baby has been exhibited in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Rochester, featured online through Lenscratch, Office Magazine, POSI+TIVE Magazine, and F-Stop Magazine and published by AINT-BAD in November 2016.
About ‘Down, Down, Baby’:
The series, Down, Down, Baby is a visual diary, a documentation of the transitory period of one’s youth. A culmination of ten years’ worth of photographs, my MFA thesis work illustrates moments of human intimacy, recklessness, repose, and desire. The individuals in this series, all close friends of mine, exist as a symbol for an undeniable attitude within youth culture that is greater than themselves. This way of living defies the logic of sensibility, political correctness, and good taste imparted on us during our childhood.
Down, Down Baby is an exploration into the seedy underbelly of Savannah, Georgia and New York City, where repulsion and attraction coincide recurrently, mutually accepting of one another. The reciprocity between the two is highlighted throughout the series. Beautifully vibrant, saturated landscapes and portraits are mixed in with depictions of over-indulgence, blood, inflamed flesh, ferality and intoxication. The photographs are focused beyond the constraints of one’s responsibility, during the moments that are lived without restraint.
The title, Down, Down, Baby, derives from a hand-clapping game that I played during my adolescence. The lyrics, “Down, down, baby, down by the roller coaster. Sweet, sweet, baby, I’ll never let you go,” resonate throughout the narrative and represent my feelings towards my subjects and this time period in my life. To perform the song/hand game, one becomes engaged with one or multiple persons’ hands clapping together then transitions into a snake-hip swivel. This hip gyration is playful and lighthearted but is also suggestive of future sexual endeavors.
This multiplicity of meanings behind the title highlights the purity and the promiscuity that recur throughout the series. The creation of this body of work originates from my compulsion to photograph the moments outside of the commonplace. To avoid the pitfalls of the unremarkable and the everyday, I document the actions in between.