From the Pope to a Flat White: (Ireland from 1979 to 2019)

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Martin Parr has been photographing in Ireland for over 4 decades. This extensive photobook documentation brought together for the first time, reveals the dramatic change the country has seen over the past forty years. In 1979 Martin Parr moved to Country Leitrim in Ireland with his wife and in later life return, time and time again to observe and record Ireland’s socio-cultural landscape undergo profound change. This 40-year project visually captures change within a country that in the 1970s was both a religious stronghold for the catholic church and at the height of a political turmoil, and characteristically captures something of the Irish people, the ‘craic’. Tens of thousands of photographs were taken before curated into this volume for the first time. This publication begins with early black and white photography (38 b&w photographs), Beginning with the largest public event in Ireland capturing two-thirds of Ireland population, the congregating to see the Pope (1979) who spoke about not giving into temptation, this research fast forwards to an Ireland that does just that. Fascinated by the religious rituals, he explored a range of pilgrimage-based locations such as Croagh Patrick and Holy wells across Ireland. Progressing chronologically through the early 80s he observes the mass construction of bungalows juxtaposing an older abandoned house in its shadow and meadow real estate sale events. This symbolised the economic transformation and the emergence of the Celtic Tiger in the 1990’s and 2000’s. He shows McDonald's drive-throughs and Dublin markets of the 90s to start-up companies in 2019. From photographs that almost jeer at religious clergy, reflecting the social reactions of the time to charming portrayals love, acceptance, and inclusion of a Gay Wedding in Dublin (2019) which Parr views as the definitive personification of Ireland transformation symbolising the first country in the world to have same-sex marriages by popular vote in 2015 (56 colour photographs). This publication reflects Martin's love for Ireland and his profound interest in the Irish Photobook work which he has been exploring with staff at Ulster University.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNY, USA
Number of pages128
ISBN (Electronic)978-8862087292
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020

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