Anthony Haughey: The Edge of Europe book launch
In a bilingual 64 page book with an essay by Fintan O’Toole, foreword by Pat Cooke of the Pearce Museum and afterword by Michael D. Higgins, Minister of Arts Culture and the Gaeltacht, Anthony Haughey’s color photographs invite us to consider those parts of the West of Ireland (the very Edge of Europe) which have been deserted since the Famine with reference to the Irish American descendants of those immigrants.
The West edge of Europe is a changing world where politics. history and economic hardship have forged the foundations of deeply rooted communities and enriched them with a fluent aural and musical culture. Links with the past and vestiges of history are inherent in this work, which challenges the populist notion of an Irish cultural Disney Land.
Ireland’s diaspora, the largest single population movement of the nineteenth century has created a huge global network of people claiming to be of Irish origin. Questions of identity become especially important in an ethically diverse country such as the USA, where Irish nationalism transcends its geographical boundaries as immigrants search for a sense of belonging.
The relationship across the atlantic is two way – the emigrants looked to the US as a potential New Life while present day Irish Americans look to the ‘Auld Sod’ as a sort of theme park which except for variations – has been lost to them.
“Do you not feel that this island is moored only lightly to the sea-bed, and might be off for the Americas at any moment?” Sebastian Barry, Prayers of Sherkin
This book will be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October the theme of which is ‘Ireland and its Diaspora’.
Anthony Haughey was born in Armach, Nothern Ireland in 1963. He studied film, photography and video at West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham receiving his BA Hons Degree in 1991. He lives in Dublin and is a part-time lecturer at Dun Laoghaire College of Art and Design.
Since 1992 Haughey has exhibited widely in both group and solo shows at Impressions Gallry York, Centre Nationale de la Photographie in PAris, Barbican Gallery London, Galleri Image Arhus Denmark, Mustings Hus Copenhagen, Gallery of Photography in Dublin and Centre de la Photographie Nord Pas de Calais.
His work has been published in magazines and publications in Frnace, the Netherlands, USA, Great Britain and is represented in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre de la Photographie Nord Pas de Calais, France and the Irish Arts Council.