Brendan Walsh started taking pictures by accident – his first photographic assignment was working as an assistant for the celebrated American photographer Evelyn Hofer. Hofer published a celebrated book of her Dublin photographs in 1968, and returned to the city in 1972 to shoot images for a piece on Crossmaglen in conjunction with writer Eamonn McCann for the Sunday Times colour magazine.
Brendan was in his mid twenties and had never worked in photography, but the experience with Hofer was formative, and he bought his first camera with the money he earned from working with her.
As a personal project Brendan began taking photos of Dublin’s north city centre, highlighting the poverty and dire situation many of the cities residents were living in. These shots were taken mainly during the 1970s, leading up to the famous Gregory Deal of 1982 (at which Brendan was present, taking photographs.)
Ronan Sheehan met Brendan during this period -Sheehan, an expert on the city, was interested in the images, and was involved at the time with Mick Rafferty, Tony Gregory and the NCCCAP. Ronan and Brendan subsequently produced a seminal text, The Heart of the City, which topped the bestellers list. Published by Brandon Books, the run was small but the text is one of the most important documents of the time and place, and is still used today in academic study and schools.
This exhibition brings together, for the first time on public view, many of Brendan’s images from that period. Beautifully photographed on medium format and 35mm black and white film, this exhibition presents us with images of a city crumbling, a people resilient and proud, and the efforts of some to save a community under threat.
The exhibition will run until Jan 30th 2013. For press images and further information, contact Simon O’Connor on 01 661 1000 or simon [at] littlemuseum.ie