Kevin O’Farrell: Photographs

  September 1985

Image of the press release for the exhibition Photographs by Kevin O’Farrell at the Gallery of Photography

Kevin O’Farrell, at 26, is one of Ireland’s youngest and yet most accomplished photographers. Having studied photography at the influential Gwent College of Higher Education and under both David Hurn and John Charity (pioneering British photojournalists and teachers), his work has been exhibited and published widely in Ireland, Britain and the Continent.

Included in the present exhibition is Kevin’s celebrated photo-essay on the only Order of Contemplative Nuns in Wales. This series, for its sheer simplicity and yet wealth of both humour and compassion in his depiction of the nun’s (extremely) physical and spiritual lifestyle earned him much critical acclaim. His new work, documenting the life-styles of the small farmers of his local West Cork, follows in this vein of celebrating the joies de vivre.

Kevin has passed on his special brand of photography in numerous courses and workshops, most recently in the Wicklow last month with Paul Hill (exhibiting at the Gallery of Photography in January 1986), Martin Parr (his infamous Abandoned Morris Minor series is also on show here this month and his ‘Bad Weather’ and ‘Bungalow Bliss’ photographs are well known) and Tony Murray (formerly of ‘Holy Pictures’ fame, but soon to reveal a very different style – and subject).

Kevin, Martin and Tony recently joined Tony O’shea, Liam Blake and Fergus Bourke (exhibition here December ’85) and a number of internationally renowned photographers such as Marketa Luskacova and Jean-Loup Sieff in a photographic survey of Ireland to be published in Autumn 1986 called the ‘Ireland Project’. Derek Spiers was also on the team.