Northern Light is the third exhibition at IMMA drawn from the exceptional collection of modern and contemporary photography put together by Dr David Kronn over the past 25 years. The David Kronn Collection is a promised gift to IMMA and comprises more than 1100 photographs ranging in content from 19th-century Daguerreotypes to works by award-winning contemporary photographers.
Northern Light presents work by photographers that examines the history of the conflict in Northern Ireland specifically and places it alongside other contemporaneous events internationally. As the U.K. prepares to leave the European Union in 2021, it is an opportune time to reflect on the shared history of Ireland and the U.K. as 2021 also marks the centenary of the partition of this island and the civil war that ensued. In the hands of such accomplished artists exhibited here, concepts of borders (real or imagined) and the consequences of demarcating territory are engaged with incredible sensitivity and imagination.
The exhibition begins with the present day and sublime images of the landscape; however, these images also hold secrets as various infrastructures, particularly of surveillance, reveal themselves. These are followed by images of landscapes that were sites of atrocities and conflict; the highly aesthetic photographs at odds with their content. Also showing are images that reflect on the impact of conflict on children and civilian communities. While images from the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland offer a salutary reminder of our recent past. The Troubles were photogenic, and problematically so. But what this collection shows us, is that the greatest photographers are precisely the ones who managed to steer clear of voyeurism, of the immediate appeal of the ‘sublime violence’; those who managed to rise in order to express what ran beneath the surface.
Artists include: Abbas, Bill Armstrong, Bruno Barbey, Ian Berry, Gilles Caron, David Farrell, John Hinde, Michael Kenna, Eric Luke, Tony O’Shea, Gilles Peress, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Paul Seawright, Arthur Siegel, Rosalind Solomon, Chris Steele Perkins, Amelia Stein, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Donovan Wylie.
Previous exhibitions from the David Kronn Collection are Out of the Dark Room in 2011 and Second Sight in 2014.
Portraits of serving and former serving members of the Defence Forces, James Stephens Baracks, Kilkenny, Ireland.
L to R
Recce Platoon Sergeant . Sergeant John Collins, 2019
Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Specialist. No person identified, 2019
Recce Platoon Soldier – Night Vision. Private Oisín Roche, 2019
Archival Pigment Prints, 65cm x 65cm