PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
Andrew Ward Fine Art Photographs

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 9.5 x 11.25 in. / 128 pgs / 1 color / 61 duotone.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2011 p. 96   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780615415024 TRADE
List Price: $39.95 CDN $50.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

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ANDREW WARD FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHS

Alen MacWeeney: Irish Travellers

Tinkers No More

Introduction by Bairbre Ni Fhloinn.

Featured image, Alen MacWeeney's <i>Turning over a car, Cherry Orchard</i> is reproduced from <a href="9780615415024.html">Irish Travellers</a>, in which MacWeeney writes, "Cherry Orchard was a big, rough field. Bushes ran along the sides of what were really three adjoining fields, divided by more bushes and facing the pebble-dashed wall of Cherry Orchard Fever Hospital. Children played in muck and rubble that looked like the aftermath of a battle in the midst of which were a dozen or more caravans, sheds, bag tents, cars, carts, and refuse of all sorts. Horses were tethered with ragged ropes to heavy stones or old iron bed frames, dogs cautiously skulked about, and pups yelped at the piebald ponies as they grazed or were being harnessed or ridden around the camp by children."For over five years, Dublin-born Alen MacWeeney (born 1939) photographed the native itinerants of Ireland known as Travellers, spending countless evenings in their caravans and by their campfires, drinking tea and listening to their tales, songs and music. In a memoir of this period, the photographer describes his attraction to the lifestyle of his companions: “Theirs was a bigger way of life than mine, with its daily struggle for survival, compared to my struggle to find images symbolic and representative of that life.” With Irish Travellers, MacWeeney has crafted a profoundly beautiful record of a slowly vanishing way of life rarely seen by outsiders, let alone captured by a camera. Author and winner of the Man Booker prize John Banville compared Irish Travellers to “Edward Curtis's masterly recuperation of the American Indian.” Alen MacWeeney's photographs are essential records of a vanishing culture.

Featured image, Alen MacWeeney's Turning over a car, Cherry Orchard is reproduced from Irish Travellers, in which MacWeeney writes, "Cherry Orchard was a big, rough field. Bushes ran along the sides of what were really three adjoining fields, divided by more bushes and facing the pebble-dashed wall of Cherry Orchard Fever Hospital. Children played in muck and rubble that looked like the aftermath of a battle in the midst of which were a dozen or more caravans, sheds, bag tents, cars, carts, and refuse of all sorts. Horses were tethered with ragged ropes to heavy stones or old iron bed frames, dogs cautiously skulked about, and pups yelped at the piebald ponies as they grazed or were being harnessed or ridden around the camp by children."

Alen MacWeeney: Irish Travellers

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
"The people were naked to my eyes in the way they let me in. Theirs was a bigger life than mine, with its daily struggle for survival, compared to my struggle to find images symbolic and representative of that life.
I was aware of t he appeal of poverty to a camera; especially when dressed up with romantic notions of horses, caravans, and campfires, it makes more gripping photographs than comfort could ever provide. But that was not what held me. I felt a need to show the world (or at least Dublin) what it had dismissed and overlooked: a dignity, a raw beauty, a deep uncertainty, and perhaps a stripped down Irishness in the rough-and-tumble existences laid bare before me.
Over the next five years I became lost in their lives, in their talk, in their stories and songs, and another path opened before me. The underworld I entered then--and that's what it was--I kept a secret. As my relationship with the Travellers grew, I valued more and more the private world to which I'd been given entry and which I felt was mine to protect."

Alen MacWeeney, excerpted from Irish Travellers.

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