Melancholy Witness – Images From The Troubles

05 Oct 2016 10:00 – 29 Oct 2016 17:00
Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, 1A Bank Parade, Newry
Exhibitions

From 5 to 29 October, The Carroll Gallery at Sean Hollywood Arts Centre, Newry is hosting a stunning exhibition of prints, ‘Melancholy Witness – Images From The Troubles’ from The Seán Hillen Collection at the National Library of Ireland.

Born in 1961 in Newry, Seán Hillen studied at Belfast, LCP and the Slade. Seán is a collagist whose work has both popular and intellectual appeal. The earliest photomontage works from the ‘Troubles’ era were based on his own documentary photos, which were themselves hidden for 20 years but were recently acquired as a permanent collection of the Irish State.  His 1990’s series ‘Irelantis’ has become part of the wider cultural landscape, featuring on the covers of over thirty books.

In conversation at the launch of Sean Hillen's  Melancholy Witness Exhibition were back Sean and Jacinta Gill. Front from left Imelda Connolly, Frances Cunningham and Sr Ann Connolly. In background are Jim Hillen and Desy Cunningham. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
In conversation at the launch of Sean Hillen's Melancholy Witness Exhibition were back Sean and Jacinta Gill. Front from left Imelda Connolly, Frances Cunningham and Sr Ann Connolly. In background are Jim Hillen and Desy Cunningham. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Seán said, “There is an engagement sometimes with the people featuring in the photos which verge on portraits whilst others engage the camera more uneasily, overall a sense of complex human beings caught in a maelstrom of allegiances and antipathies.”

Seán is also well known for co-designing the Omagh Bomb Memorial with Desmond Fitzgerald.  His work is featured in many private and public collections including the Irish State Collection, The Imperial War Museum, the European Central Bank, the Irish Central Bank, Citigroup, the BBC and Microsoft.

Cllr Charlie Casey, Newry, Mourne and Down Council with Sean Hillen at the exhibition. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Cllr Charlie Casey, Newry, Mourne and Down Council with Sean Hillen at the exhibition. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Seán’s work also features in the collections and displays at Newry and Mourne Museum in Bagenal’s Castle, Newry.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, "It is an honour to have Seán's work gracing the walls of the Gallery in Newry. His work is internationally significant, and the Council are proud that we have a number of his original works on view at Newry and Mourne Museum. I would like to thank Seán for choosing to have these works exhibited in Newry, we are lucky indeed to be one of the galleries he selected to show his work. I hope that visitors will enjoy the exhibition while it is here."

The Exhibition is on show from 5 to 29 October, Monday to Friday until 5pm. For evening and weekend viewings contact the Centre on 028 3031 3180.