Portraits from the Albert Bar
by Gareth McConnell
These portraits, taken over the Easter Period of 1999, were situated in a Loyalist Bar in my home town of Carrickfergus. It was a place I had only ever glimpsed into as a teenager - through a cracked door or through the security bars of the adjoining off sales. I wanted to create a set of images of the loyalist community which did not adhere to the strict media guidelines of bowler hatted men, apprentice boys, Drumcree rioters and super star terrorists posed against backdrops of Shankill Road murals. I wanted to make photographs with all the dignity and poise of old masters and not to revel in the slogans and iconography so closely associated with the protestant people.