Simon Bates (b.1975) has been selected as the inaugural photographer-in-residence for the Gypsy Ray Social Documentary Residency. Simon is a documentary photographer/visual artist based in Kilmore, County Wexford. He holds an MA (distinction) in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from the University of the Arts London, and a BA (Hons) in Architecture from the University of Liverpool.

He has exhibited in the PhotoIreland Festival in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2019. In 2012 an image from his Next Time Round project was exhibited at the RHA Annual Show. He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions, and his work has been published in national and international publications.

He teaches photography at Gorey School of Art, covering Digital Photography, and Traditional Black and White Photography. In 2021 he was awarded an Artlinks Bursary. In speaking of his residency theme he noted how……..

“Ireland has changed so much in the last twenty years. I propose to document the changing face of the landscape; urban and rural, and also to document the new and old faces of Ireland today. As I am largely unfamiliar with Kilkenny city and its surroundings, I would like to engage with its built environment, communities, places of work, housing, and its people.
Although I was born and raised in Ireland, I have lived abroad (Liverpool, Finland) for a number of years, and quite often view Ireland through the eyes of an outsider.

Simon will begin a 3 week residency from September 20th, 2021 and give a public talk about his work and exhibit some of the residency outcomes over this period.



The Gypsy Ray Social Documentary Photographic Residency is intended to support photographers towards the production of a new body of work based on the principles of social documentary in their photographic practice. The residency encourages photographers to articulate their role as a documentarian or agent of expression within the local communities or the environments with which they would like to engage.

About Gypsy Ray
A native of Illinois, USA, Gypsy Ray (1949-2020) studied drawing and photography at the University of Iowa later receiving her Masters degree in photography from Goddard College. Most of her U.S.A. based photographic work was created in California where her series based on The Male Nude and her later work with the San Francisco Aids Foundation and San Francisco Hospice received national and international attention. Resident in Ireland since 2000 she continued her documentary practice through creative engagements with local Camphill communities and with Traveller communities in County Kilkenny. Her work is to be found in many public and private collections including Permanent Collections, (U.S. Library of Congress), The Wellcome Trust Gallery (British Museum) and the David Kronn Collection (Irish Museum of Modern Art).


The Gypsy Ray Social Documentary Photography Residency has been made possible with the support of Mary L. Ray and Steve Berlinski.

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