It started in the early summer of 2018, when Cole Flynn Quirke’s grandmother passed away after suffering from a long-term illness. “It was the first time I ever lost someone that I adored so much. It affected me in a way that I didn’t really think things could,” he says. “I started to feel – and I know it sounds really cringey but – a kind of overwhelming weight of existing. My life became more important to me than it ever has before.”
A Bird Flies Backwards is an autobiographical project built around the timeless themes of mortality, friendship, love and lust. It includes photographs of Quirke’s family and friends and their surrounding landscape, as well as videos pulled from old VHS footage, and painful images of his grandmother on her death-bed. “I didn’t even want to look at those prints, but I put them in there because they’re important to the narrative,” says Quirke.