Colin Graham, Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography (Belfast: Belfast Exposed/MAC, 2013)
Winner of the 2014 Michael J. Durkan Prize
Photography Book of the Month, The Observer, June 2013
“ambitious … ahead of the game” Sean O’Hagan, The Observer
“compelling … ground-breaking”, Michael J. Durkan Prize citation
“extraordinary” Irish Studies Review
“perceptive” Irish Arts Review
“excellent” The Oxonian Review
Since the 1980s Northern Ireland has produced a distinctive
body of photographic work, by photographers from within and
outside Northern Ireland. This book brings together significant
works by key photographers to examine the phenomenon of
new photographic practices in Northern Ireland. Many of the
photographers included have established global reputations, but have not previously been considered in a sustained way as group of photographers interacting with each other’s work.
Taking a historical and thematic approach, the book begins with the media imagery of the Troubles that compelled photographers and artists to intervene in the flow of press photography that dominated a global, visual portrayal of
Northern Ireland in the 1970s. From this response, and influenced by wider, international trends in contemporary
photography, an engaged and often polemic aesthetic emerged, individual to each photographer but also shared across diverse photographic practices.
While presenting an analysis of its broad aesthetics, the book also questions the extent to which the theme of conflict has dominated our view of Northern Irish photography. Through the inclusion of work by photographers with a keen sense of trends and debates in the wider contexts of contemporary photography and art, the publication considers photography in and from Northern Ireland as a reflection of place in the broadest possible sense.
Sean O’Hagan in the Observer here.
The Oxonian review here.
RTÉ Arts Tonight documentary here.