By: Susan Wood
This full-colour kaleidoscope of over 150 photographs by one of North America’s leading photographers evokes a pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland, recording a world on the cusp of radical change, a time-capsule of personalities and landscapes, professions and activities, caught in the amber of the camera’s eye.
Beginning with an Irish assignment from British Vogue in 1969, Woods’ interest deepened by marriage to two Irish husbands, and she developed an abiding love for the people and places documented in subsequent decades. This valentine to Ireland is now gathered into one resonant volume of images and visual epiphanies.
The work ranges across the Irish countryside. Departing from Dublin and Wicklow, it extends to Roscommon and the Shannon estuary, recording street scenes, travellers, the hunt, cattle marts, pub, cottage and country-house interiors. Six photo-essays focus on leading personalities; Garech Brown of Luggala, founder of Claddagh Records; the late Desmond Fitzgerald, last knight of Glin; Marina Guinness, chatelaine; J.P. Donleavy, novelist, at home in Westmeath; Hector McDonnell, artist, at home in Glenarm; and Tim Pat Coogan, historian.