91 Nmhoga Mason 600dpi

Photo: Currachs or Naomhóga by Thomas Mason.

Life on the Blasket Islands as never seen before.

On Wednesday, 30 October, Mick O’Connell, football legend and islander, opened  an exhibition of photographs of the Blasket Islands and the people who lived there.  ‘An Island Portrait’ is being shown in the gallery of the Dept. of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in Killarney. It features photographs from the archives of The Great Blasket Centre in Dún Chaoin. It covers the period 1892 to 2010,  from the the earliest known photographs of the island to contemporary photographs of the islanders.

‘An Island Portrait’ was developed by The Great Blasket Centre and www.curator.ie to accompany the publication by Collins Press of a book of photographs of the Blasket Island. The text was written by Micheál de Mórdha  (Director) and Dáithí de Mórdha (archivist) and the photographs were edited by Ciarán Walsh. The book combines classic ‘outsider’ views of the islanders and their way of life with photographs from family albums. The ethnographic look is counterbalanced by personal and, at times,  intimate glimpses of family life on the island.

This approach is continued in the exhibition. Many of these photographs have never been exhibited before and the result is a unique insight into life on an island that was evacuated in 1953 but never abandoned.

An Island Portrait / Collins Press