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The Head of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, Ireland

1965-1966 (negative); 1979 (portfolio publication)
Alen MacWeeney (Irish, born 1939) Published by Hyperion Press, Paris, New York

Though not intended to depict any specific locale, this photograph, part of a selection of images, movingly evokes the spirit of Ireland in its joyful, macabre, lonesome, and picturesque aspects. Born in Dublin, MacWeeney is known for his interest in the preservation of Irish folklore and traditions. He portrays the country as a spare, unadorned place where life is viewed head-on. Darkness pervades many of these pictures, both in mood and in the prints themselves, but it is not unalleviated by humor and whimsy.

"What the pictures show, in part, is the way I look at things, and the way I think they are," the artist writes in the text for this portfolio. "What one chooses to photograph is a crucial issue to me. An image has no meaning for me unless it has some qualities beneath the surface."

Object Details

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