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Shot at Dawn is a new body of work by the British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews that focuses on the sites at which soldiers from the British, French and Belgian armies were executed for cowardice and desertion during the First World War. The project comprises images of twenty-three locations at which the soldiers were shot or held in the period leading up to their execution (of which an edited selection is shown at IMMA). All are seasonally accurate and were taken as close as possible to the precise time of day at which the executions occurred.

Shot at Dawn premiered at Tate Modern in London and Stills: Scotland’s Centre for Photography in Edinburgh in November 2014. Following the showing at IMMA the exhibition will travel to Ivorypress in Madrid in 2016.

Shot at Dawn is commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford as part of 14–18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions. Sponsored by Genesis Imaging and supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund and by the British Council, Government of Flanders, John Fell OUP Research Fund and Van Houten Fund. This exhibition is part of a series of New Art at IMMA proudly sponsored by Matheson.

This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book. Published by Ivorypress, it provides a complete visual record of the commission alongside a critical analysis of the work by the celebrated writer Geoff Dyer and expert contextual essays on cowardice, desertion and psychological trauma brought on by military service by the acclaimed historians Sir Hew Strachan and Dr Helen McCartney. The book will be available from the IMMA Shop at the special exhibition price of €39.95.

About the Artist

Chloe Dewe Mathews b.1982

Chloe Dewe Mathews (b. 1982) is an award-winning photographic artist based in London. After studying fine art at Camberwell College of Arts and the University of Oxford, she worked in the feature film industry before dedicating herself to photography.
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Talks and Events

Discussion | Shot at Dawn – Chloe Dewe Mathews
Listen to this talk with award winning British photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews, Paul Bonaventura (independent producer) and Niall Bergin (Manager, Kilmainham Gaol) as they discuss Shot at Dawn, a project that focuses on the sites at which British, French and Belgian troops were executed for cowardice and desertion between 1914 and 1918. The discussion was moderated by Sarah Glennie (Director, IMMA) and took place as part of the opening of the exhibition on 9 October 2015.

Gallery Talk: Sarah Glennie
Wednesday 25 November 2015, 1.15 – 2.00pm, East Ground Galleries
Sarah Glennie (Director, IMMA) led a curator’s walk-through of the exhibition Shot at Dawn.

Lecture | Shot at Dawn: Moral Witness by Alex Danchev
Wednesday 27 January 2015, 6 -7pm, Lecture Room

Listen to Professor Alex Danchev (School of International Relations, University of St Andrews, UK) discuss how aftermath photography and the power of the imagination can best serve historical, political and ethical enquiry today. Focusing on the project Shot at Dawn, Alex Danchev examines the phenomenon of ‘moral witness’ in the world, and the part that art and artists play in this vital role.

Gallery Discussion: Shot at Dawn, a psychoanalytic response
Thursday 18 February 2016, 1:00 – 2pm, East Ground Galleries

Listen / Join in on a strand of informal discussions that usually take place within academic settings are hosted in IMMA so that members of the public can have the opportunity to listen and join in. In this session Dr. Ian S. Miller (clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst) will respond to Chloe Dewe Mathews exhibition focusing on the subject of trauma and the emergence of psychoanalytic techniques in response to early manifestations of trauma during World War One. No booking required, further details

Additional Resources

Read the exhibition guide for Shot at Dawn.

Listen to Chloe Dewe Mathews, Paul Bonaventura (independent producer) and Niall Bergin (Manager, Kilmainham Gaol) discuss Shot at Dawn

Second Level Resources for Teachers and Students
These resources are in two parts and have been prepared to provide supplementary information for Second level students and their teachers visiting the exhibition. They may also be of interest to the general public as an introduction to Shot at Dawn.

Part 1: Visiting an Exhibition (PDF – 450KB)
Includes general information about visiting a museum or gallery and information about IMMA in particular.

Part 2: Shot at Dawn: Resources for second level students and teachers (PDF 6MB)
Information about the exhibition Shot at Dawn

Media Resources
Richard Fitzpatrick interview with Chloe Dewe Mathews in the Irish Examiner Photography exhibition of shooting sites of shameful WW1 executions

Five start review by Aidan Dunne in the Irish Times.

Interview with Chloe Dewe Mathews by Luke Clancy on Culture File, Lyric FM.

IMMA Press Release

Interview with Chloe Dewe Mathews in The Observer June 2014

Video of Chloe Dewe Mathews talking to TateShots about her work Shot at Dawn, on show as part of Tate Modern’s ‘Conflict, Time, Photography’ exhibition. Published on Jan 8, 2015

Chloe Dewe Mathews website


Important Notice


We would like to advise our visitors that our Main Reception area is closed for renovation from 22 April until mid-June.  A temporary reception is open on the ground floor next to the original main entrance. While we prepare to open our next exhibition Hilary Heron: A Retrospective on 24 May, there are two exhibitions to see Derry Film & Video Workshop and Self: Determination: Artists Commissions. IMMA’s gardens and café are open to the public.