MARTIN PARR’S WORK TRACES A LINE THROUGH THE DECADES AS IRISH SOCIETY GRADUALLY SHIFTED AWAY FROM CONFORMISM. IT ALSO CAPTURES MANY THINGS THAT NEVER WENT AWAY — Fintan O’Toole, Irish Times 2020
Since the late 1980’s Martin Parr has been taking photographs in Ireland. Between 1980-1982 he lived in the West of Ireland embedding himself in its land and culture, capturing the area where he was based. Since then he has returned at regular intervals over the last three decades to continue this work. During that time, he captured the changing Ireland and created a series of images that present the effects of wealth and Americanisation on the country. At a pivotal time of social and cultural change these series range from the Texan inspired Bungalows of Co. Leitrim to the Country and Western dances in rural dance halls, showing an Ireland on the cusp of the Celtic Tiger era. Since then he has produced new works around the Silicon Docks in Dublin, once again exploring the new wave of Corporate American influence in Irish society and the shadow of an impending Brexit.
Exhibition coming to the Gallery of Photography Ireland 2021
To date this expansive series of images made in Ireland over 40 years has not been exhibited in its entirety. In 2021 this will no longer be the case as Limerick City Gallery of Art working in partnership with Northern Narratives productions – opens a tour which will present all of Parr’s works exploring a variety of themes and events of historical and social significance in Ireland. The tour will continue from Limerick to Dublin Gallery of Photography, Roscommon Arts Centre and then travel to Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art before returning to finish its tour in Belfast Exposed Gallery in the North of Ireland.
Martin Parr has been photographing in Ireland for over 4 decades. This extensive documentation – brought together for the first time – reveals the dramatic change the country has seen over the past forty years. This publication begins with early black and white photography, documenting the Pope’s visit in 1979, as well as traditional aspects of rural life, such as horse fairs and dances. Progressing chronologically, we see McDonalds drive throughs and Dublin markets of the 90s, before the work culminates in gay weddings, gentrification and start-up companies of 2019. Introduction by Fintan O’Toole.
Martin Parr has been taking photographs in Ireland for 40 years. His work covers many of the most significant moments in Ireland’s recent history, encompassing the Pope’s visit in 1979, when a third of the country’s population attended Mass in Knock and Phoenix Park in Dublin, as well as gay weddings and start-up companies in 2019. It is difficult to think of a country that has changed so dramatically in this relatively short space of time.
Parr lived in the West of Ireland between 1980-82. He photographed traditional aspects of rural life, such as horse fairs and dances, but also looked at the first hint of Ireland’s new wealth in the shape of the bungalows that were springing up everywhere, replacing more traditional dwellings. During subsequent trips to Ireland he explored the new estates around Dublin and the introduction of the first drive-through McDonald’s. Parr also looked at the North and documented how, after the Good Friday agreement, the Troubles became the focus of a new tourist boom. The final chapter of this book portrays a contemporary Dublin where start-up companies are thriving, the docks area is being gentrified and where icons of wealth and modernity – such as the flat white – can be everywhere. Ireland has also now voted to allow both abortion and gay weddings, developments that would have been unthinkable 40 years ago. The book includes an introduction by the acclaimed journalist Fintan O’Toole.
Published by Damiani Editore
250 x 330 mm