From Clare to Here: A Journey in Photographs

Two photographs by Christy McNamara.

October / November 2012

Christy McNamara, a photographer and traditional musician from Crusheen, Co. Clare, has been capturing images of Ireland for over 20 years. From up-close portraits of some of Ireland’s best-known musicians, including U2, The Pogues, and a number of traditional artists, to scenes from the annual Spancill horse fair and close-ups of life in rural Ireland, McNamara has a gift for capturing evocative, emblematic moments.

His photographs will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition at the Consulate General of Ireland in New York, from November 4 to December 21. With a particular emphasis on his photographs of musicians, the exhibition will include shots from his acclaimed book The Living Note, a collaboration with writer Peter Woods.

For McNamara, the exhibition – and his photographs – are, at their essence, about telling a story of home and tradition. “I began this work almost 20 years ago as a matter of urgency,” he said. “Many of the older people featured in this exhibition are now dead and gone. I was privileged to have grown up around them, to hear them play and to be part of this music family and community. They touched my heart, opened my eyes and revealed their soul in the music.” He also noted that the intimate quality of his photographs are a direct product of his being so close to the subjects. “I would never have been able to take these pictures without being part of it. This is a view from within and a celebration of those who played the music and passed it on,” he added.

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3 Responses to “From Clare to Here: A Journey in Photographs”

  1. Fan of wordplay says:

    Is this title a play on the expression “from *there* to here”? As in the opening lines, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere,” of Dr. Seuss classic, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish?

    • Mick Rowley says:

      Its the title of a Ralph McTell song and its what a young County Clare lad said to Ralph on a building site in London its along way from Clare to hear

      • Joe Brennan says:

        My aunt Mago Butler was from Maghera Crusheen and her brother Miko, they are no longer with us. She use to tell me about the fiddler Dinah from just down the road,met the mother who was 100years old at the time, must get to see the photos.

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