Martine Franck: Tory Island

  September 1998

Image from exhibition ‘Tory Island’ by Martine Franck, 1998.

We are delighted to host the first showing of Tory Island, and exhibition of photographs by the well known photographer Martine Franck of Magnum Photo Agency.

Martine Franck first went to Tory in 1993 with the painter Derek Hill, to document life on this wind-swept island. The evocative images in this exhibition are a culmination of the time she has spent there over the years.

Image from exhibition 'Tory Island' by Martine Franck, 1998.

Image from exhibition ‘Tory Island’ by Martine Franck, 1998.

Tory is a Gaelic-speaking island, with a tradition of an elected ‘king’ who is the island’s chief spokesman and arbiter. The population, long declining, appears to have stabilized at around 130 inhabitants. The islanders derive their livelihood, with difficulty, from fishing and agriculture and now to a growing extent from tourism. Bleak and treeless the island may be, but in it’s bleakness, it can be spectacularly beautiful. As if reflecting that beauty, under the inspiration of Derek Hill, a school of painting has arisen on Tory in recent decades, whose largely ‘primitive’ works have found international recognition. A major retrospective of the painter Derek Hill is being held at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place from September 12th -30th 1998.

Martine Franck’s superb photography offers an intimate glimpse of the island and its people. Who, looking at the vibrant faces of its children, could have doubts for the island’s future?

Newspaper article on exhibition "Tory Island" by Martine Franck, Sunday Independent 30 Aug 1998

Newspaper article on exhibition “Tory Island” by Martine Franck, Sunday Independent 30 Aug 1998

A book Tory Island Images published by Wolfhound Press will be launched at the exhibition, and will be on sale at £9.95.

Martine Franck has worked as an independent for Life, Fortune, New York Times and Vogue before joining Magnum Agency. Her work on Tory won a commendation in the International Mosaïque Awards Programme for photography. She has exhibited widely and a major retrospective of her work with a publication will be launched at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris also in September of this year.