Form – Malcolm McGettigan

Form – Malcolm McGettigan


FORM is a photographic study of human physique shot ringside at boxing and Muay Thai events. Large scale prints showcase the gladiatorial power of the combatants while light, human exertion, and movement, combine in chance compositions that are almost sculptural.

Words: Malcolm McGettigan


The exhibition, ‘FORM’ opens on Thursday, July 16th as part of the 6th PhotoIreland festival. The work was shot at live fight events, both Muay Thai and traditional boxing.

The idea for the work came through another project I was working on at the time. I was doing shots of a local boxer in my area, Anthony Fitzgerald, covering a fight he had as part of a bigger documentary piece. I had shot some amateur boxing before but had no real idea about shooting ring side. In trying to capture typical boxing shots I found that in some cases I was capturing something a lot more interesting.

The boxing ring has a predetermined lighting set up, so the fighters are constantly being lit from different angles as they move around, something that’s quite evident in stills. What’s really interesting to me was how the light hit and highlighted muscle tone, sweat and tattoos but also how the fighters were composed in the frame. I leaned to more non traditional fight scenes in my selection and tried to make it, not about the fight but the moments that happen in between, chance compositions.

I’ve just discovered the work of Charles Harbutt who passed away recently, former Magnum president and inspiring street photographer, something I want to do more of in the near future. I love the work of Philip de Lorca, Gregory Crewdson and Erwin Olaf, their use of lighting is something I’d like to source for my own work.


FORM opens at In-Spire Galerie, 56 Lower Gardiner St. Dublin 1, Thursday, 16th July, from 6-9. Drinks reception, with an after party in the adjacent Paris wine bar until late. As part of PHOTOIRELAND.