The Lawrence Collection Revisited
The Lawrence Collection of photographs is a unique series of over 40,000 images taken across the island of Ireland between the years 1870 and 1914. Over 1,400 of these photos were taken in County Donegal. In this unique project, a rephotographic study, two photographers, Paul McGuckin and Andrew Horsman, have collaborated to re-visit the precise locations where the original images were photographed. Once the exact location has been found, they re-photograph these images, using the same camera that was used 100 years ago (a large format film camera). This is the first time a project of this nature has been undertaken in the county, perhaps due to the time consuming nature of the work; it can take several site visits to accurately recreate one photograph.
The new series of images, spread across the whole county, offers the opportunity to reconnect with the past within the context of modern Donegal. This comparison allows us to consider the positives and negatives associated with the county’s development over the past 100 years. The work will also create a new archive, enabling future generations an extended view on the passage of time.
A graduate from the Master of Fine Arts in photography course at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Andrew has spent recent years photographing Donegal scenes of faith using a large format, 5” x 4” camera. He is now a PhD research student in Belfast, investigating images taken for the Congested Districts Board, Lawrence Collection and those taken during the Great Depression in the USA.
Also a graduate from the Master of Fine Arts in photography course at the University of Ulster in Belfast, Paul’s most recent work is a long term documentary on the ethical commitment of individuals, based on The Hundredth Monkey Effect. Previous works include a year long residency at An Grianan Theatre and a reportage of the Jeanie Johnston tall ship journey to France, as part of The Flight of the Earls festival. Paul is also the official photographer to the Donegal Public Art Department.
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