The Orange Order by Paul Seawright
At the Gallery of Photography, Wellington Quay, Dublin, 1992.
Review by Lynne Connolly
This exhibition is one to be savoured, a taste not quite familiar, not readily identified yet not quite unpleasant. The photographer probes quietly, dipping into sinister shadows, unheard conversations, but the stance, the dress, the mass anonymity speak volumes.
The images come together like some bizarre dream sequence, not necessarily following each other but related none the less. The insistent intentional cropping draws the viewer in, offering a closer and more claustrophobic viewpoint. These subjects and rites are not accustomed to being viewed in this manner. The usual viewpoint being extremes of distance or belonging.
The viewer is left with an uneasiness not settled by the smoothness and richness of the images themselves. This is an exhibition of great subtlety about a world of colour, sound and opinion which is in itself less than subtle.
Paul Seawright's work is currently on show at I.C.P. in New York and at the Rencontres in Arles, France. This exhibition will be shown at the Arts Council Gallery in Belfast in 1993 as part of its European tour.