Martin Parr has been taking photographs in Ireland for 40 years. His work covers many of the most significant moments in Ireland’s recent history, encompassing the Pope’s visit in 1979, when a third of the country’s population attended Mass in Knock and Phoenix Park in Dublin, as well as gay weddings and start-up companies in 2019. It is difficult to think of a country that has changed so dramatically in this relatively short space of time.
Parr lived in the West of Ireland between 1980-82. He photographed traditional aspects of rural life, such as horse fairs and dances, but also looked at the first hint of Ireland’s new wealth in the shape of the bungalows that were springing up everywhere, replacing more traditional dwellings. During subsequent trips to Ireland he explored the new estates around Dublin and the introduction of the first drive-through McDonald’s. Parr also looked at the North and documented how, after the Good Friday agreement, the Troubles became the focus of a new tourist boom. The final chapter of this book portrays a contemporary Dublin where start-up companies are thriving, the docks area is being gentrified and where icons of wealth and modernity – such as the flat white – can be everywhere. Ireland has also now voted to allow both abortion and gay marriage, developments that would have been unthinkable 40 years ago. The book includes an introduction by the acclaimed journalist Fintan O’Toole. 1
About the Artist
Martin Parr (b. 1952) is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take an intimate, satirical and anthropological look at aspects of modern life, in particular documenting the social classes of England, and more broadly the wealth of the Western world.
About the Publisher
Damiani was founded in May 2004 as the new publishing branch of the printing company, Grafiche Damiani, in Bologna. Damiani was set up in the 1950s to specialise in art and photography lithographic printing. Besides the projects concerning the unpublished activity by leading figures from the art and photography world, Damiani also constitutes an observatory of the new generations of international artists and of social phenomena, which meet with the solid architecture of accurately edited books, creating real art objects. Damiani’s current list of books cover a large range of subjects, including photography, architecture, design, reportage, pop culture, fashion, collecting and sports.