Tadhg Devlin: The Fifth Province

  August –
September 2006

‘Paddy, the town drunk’, in a depiction of 19th century Ireland, Ulster-American Folk Park, County Tyrone. From the exhibition The Fifth Province by Tadhg Devlin at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin August 3 – September 3 2006.

The Fifth Province is a study of contemporary Ireland through the eyes of the returned emigrant. It portrays a country full of contradictions, an Ireland still in thrall to its nationalist past while it careers towards it’s European future, its dreams forged in an American imagination.

Ireland is made up of four province; the fifth is wherever the Irish diaspora resides. With 70 million people of Irish descent throughout the world the notion of ‘home’ is invested with complex emotions, with repercussions both for those who left, and for those who stayed. There is a big difference between the myth and the reality of ‘home’.

Comprising over thirty colour photographs, The Fifth Province figures ‘Ireland’ as a place open to interpretation, layered with myths, convenient fictions and unacknowledged realities.

About the artist: Born in Dublin in 1971, Tadhg Devlin left Ireland in 1993 to study photography in Cornwall, UK. After completing his studies he was offered a place at Magnum Photos in London where he worked with a number of photographers, including Magnum president Chris Steele – Perkins. Since leaving Magnum, Devlin has remained in London as a freelance photographer and his work has appeared in many publications. He has also been working for a housing support groups and has recently set up photography workshops in the pupil referral units of schools in London. He has been working on ‘the Fifth Province’ since 2001. It was awarded a Development Bursary by the Gallery of Photography in 2005 and was recently awarded a bursary from the Irish Arts Council.

Pilgrims ascend Croagh Patrick, County Mayo. From the exhibition The Fifth Province by Tadhg Devlin at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin until September 3 2006.

Pilgrims ascend Croagh Patrick, County Mayo. From the exhibition The Fifth Province by Tadhg Devlin at the Gallery of Photography, Dublin until September 3 2006.

The Fifth Province is presented in association with Siamsa Tire Theatre and Arts Centre.