At the recent PhotoLA show last month I found myself talking to a gallery director about some Bill Brandt photos he had on display. I mentioned that I had seen a wonderful exhibition a few years back at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin of an Irish photographer who had also done documentary photography work in the same vein in Dublin, but for the life of me I could not remember his name. Leave it to a bit of idle time on my hands – and some web surfing – and I did indeed rediscover the work of Fergus Bourke. In his show at the Gallery of Photography there was a nice overview of his images that capture a slice of Irish life that (in many cases) really doesn’t exist anymore. I think this was particularly fascinating to me seeing I was in Ireland that trip at the height of Celtic Tiger-dom – you look at a photograph like The Bottle Throwers and it seems like that was indeed a very long time ago. (And how did he get that close to those boys anyway to take the photo?)
In addition to his images of city life he did a fair amount of black and white nature/landscape images in the west of Ireland, often capturing that gorgeous light and dramatic flair of clouds on the brink of stormy weather. In those photos we are definitely kindred spirits.
View images from his show at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin here: http://galleryofphotography.ie/exhibitions/bourke2.html
If you’re not familiar with Fergus Bourke’s work he’s definitely worth checking out.