Picturing Derry is the first major photographic exhibition of Derry-Londonderry’s UK City of Culture 2013. Opening to the public at the iconic City Factory venue on 31 May, the exhibition brings together, for the first time, some of the most iconic images of the troubles in the city in one exhibition. Legendary French photojournalist Gilles Caron’s previously unseen major body of work during the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969 forms a major part of the exhibition. It also includes the work of other visiting photographers from around the world as well as images by local news photographers.
The exhibition is constructed of four main constituent parts, including the work of photographers from Londonderry including Willie Carson, Larry Doherty, Eamon Melaugh and Barney McMonagle. The artists bring their unique local knowledge to cast a light on some previously unseen elements of life in the city. Photojournalists from around the world covered the conflict and the work of Gilles Caron and Clive Limpkin became iconic images, known across the globe. Documentary photographers such as and Homer Sykes from the UK and Brian J Gill from the USA fitted the Derry’s conflict into their studies of working class lives and youth gangs.
Also included in the exhibition are pieces by Camerawork Darkrooms, a photography training collective established in the Bogside at the height of the Troubles with international curator Trisha Ziff. The collective used photography as a means to express community identity. Over the same period, the official British Army photographer captured surveillance images of the community as conflict zone. One gallery room tells the stories of these opposing perspectives. The city in conflict is also recorded in the unique insights of Sean Hillen and Victor Sloan.
Curated by Declan Sheehan, the photographs have been brought together to form the most substantial exhibition of a period of almost 30 years, covering many different aspects of life in the city from 1969 up to the late 1980s.
Picturing Derry, 31 May – 7 July, The City Factory, Londonderry.
More info on Derry-Londonderry City of Culture 2013 at www.cityofculture2013.com.
1. Aftermath of riots between Catholics and the Ulster police, Londonderry. Northern Ireland, August 1969, Gilles Caron. Photograph © Fondation Gilles CARON/CONTACT PRESS IMAGES.