Contact Seán Hillen here
LATEST NEWS BELOW
RECENT, CURRENT & FORTHCOMING EVENTS:
Excuse and please let us know of bad links etc..
news archived below:
September 2018 NEW ONLINE FEATURE AT BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The BJPonline published a long feature on Seán's history and work and the forthcoming book project. Read here.
September 2018: NEW BOOK DUMMY PREVIEW ONLINE
Seán published a video short previewing the forthcoming book of his collages, designed by Erik Kessels. The video gained thousands of views in the first few days.
See the video here on Facebook.
September 2018: 3 DAY INTERNATIONAL COLLAGISTS FESTIVAL IN DUBLIN
Seán exhibited a new work; "Two Giants at The Giant's Causeway, IRELANTIS" and give a presentation as part of the fifth COLLAGISTAS FESTIVAL being held in the Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin in September.
July 2018: NEW BOOK COVER
Seán's collage "Searching For Evidence.. in The Rose Garden, Tralee" is on the cover of a significant new book from Oxford University Press on Samuel Beckett:
'Samuel Beckett and The Politics of Aftermath' by James McNaughton "Illustrates how Beckett's work draws from, and responds to, political conflicts such as the executions after the Irish Civil War, Nazi newspapers and propaganda, and war atrocities "
May 2018: FULL-LENGTH DOCUMENTARY FUNDING ANNOUNCED
The Irish Broadcasting Association announced it would fund with €135k the production of a 1-hr documentary film; 'Seán Hillen: The Art of Asperger's'.
Produced by Gillian Marsh TV it will be filmed in late 2018 for broadcast by national broadcaster RTÉ in late 2019 which it is hoped will coincide with the forthcoming book 'The Wonderful World of Seán Hillen' designed by Erik Kessels.
May 2018 NEW INTERVIEW ONLINE
Claudio Nego of Kamera8 Gallery made an interesting interview with Seán on the 'Melancholy Witness' photos.
April-May 2018: MAJOR EXHIBITION BELFAST 9th April - 5th May
The Linen Hall Library, (founded 1788); one of Northern Ireland's foremost tourist venues, hosted a major exhibition of Seán's photographs from the 'Troubles' era, recently republished in paperback version; 'Melancholy Witness'.
May 2018: UPDATE: NEWSPAPER SPREADS
There were large picture spreads in the Irish News, Belfast Telegraph and the Ireland Edition of The London Times.
MAY 2018: PICTURES IN IMPORTANT 'BORDER' EXHIBITION
Four of Seán's collage works appeared in the important festival which opened in the Regional Cultural Centre Donegal; organised by the Irish Gallery of Photography; with two facsimile works; one original photocollage from 1983 and a large-scale acrylic-mounted print of 'Newry Gagarin Crosses The Border'.
There was a weekend of talks and events and Seán took part in a panel discussion with artists Anthony Haughey and Dragana Jurisic and Sean O'Hagan of the Guardian.
A smaller version of the exhibition ran in the Irish Gallery of Photography in July-Sept.
March-April 2018: ONE-MAN EXHIBITION WEXFORD IRELAND
Kamera 8 in Wexford hosted a large one-man show; 22nd March- 14th April; consisting of 24 photos from 'Melancholy Witness' and a selection of around 15 collage works as originals, (including fragments from a new collage series); facsimiles and prints.
Dublin City Council Arts Officer Ruarí Ó Cuiv gave a generous opening speech. Link fb link
December 2017: NEW PRIZEWINNING DOCUMENTARY AS IN-FLIGHT MOVIE
The prizewinning mini-documentary 'Seán Hillen- Merging Views' by Paddy Cahill, recently shown by national broadcaster RTÉ was selected as an in-flight movie for national airline Aer Lingus' long-haul flights during December and January 2018. See image.
November 2017: ONLINE FEATURE AT NATIONAL NEWSPAPER WEBSITE
The Irish Times Culture Section online published a major feature by Kathleen McNamee on foot of the recent paperback republication of Seán's 'Melancholy Witness' book.
"Hillen’s images are a masterclass in capturing raw human life."
October 2017: ONLINE FEATURE ON NATIONAL BROADCASTER WEBSITE
Sean's work "Evidence of Controlled Demolition in The Rose Garden, Tralee.." was featured in "21st. Century Ireland in 21 Artworks": by Sunday Times Art Critic Cristín Leach, and with links to Paddy Cahill's recent mini-documentary and a 2011RTÉ Radio interview relating to the "Consolations of Genius.." exhibition at Oliver Sears Gallery SEE HERE
"It’s this combination of surrealism, horror, humour and beauty, as a response to anxiety, that marks out Hillen’s work." .. "Time has passed to reveal Hillen as a kind of seer, a man ahead of his time. His layered images of ancient monuments and tourist spots blended with John Hinde postcard scenes of an idealised Ireland were always oddly apocalyptic. His recent works continue to act as a warning sign.".."perhaps his most important message: that blind complacency might just be the most dangerous habit for a human being to form"
October 2017: NEW MULTI-AWARD-WINNING MINIDOCUMENTARY ONLINE
Paddy Cahill's mini-documentary which was recently broadcast by national broadcaster RTÉ, and has been selected for and won awards at many festivals, is now online in full.
October-December 2017 SIX IRELANTIS WORKS IN EXHIBITION NAVAN IRELAND
Six IRELANTIS works represented in various print and facsimile collage forms are included in an exhibition at the Solstice Arts Centre Navan. Read more HERE and HERE
August 2nd-30th 2017: TWO WORKS IN IMPORTANT BELFAST 'TROUBLES' EXHIBITION
Two of Seán's troubles-era collage works from the Newry & Mourne Museum Collection have been selected for a notable exhibition in August at the venerable Linen Hall Library in Belfast. LINK LINK "Celebrating the Linen Hall Library’s Northern Ireland Political Collection, focusing on the 1990s, while taking into account events of previous decades. Memories of everyday life during an extraordinary time are brought together, with objects including badges, posters, periodicals, artwork, and ephemera showcased. Newry and Mourne Museum and The F.E. McWilliam Gallery have kindly agreed to loan art works by important local artists Seán Hillen and F.E. McWilliam."
August 2017: EXHIBITION OPENING
Seán opened an exhibition "The Fool by the Roadside" by Bryan Gerard Duffy at the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar. "A huge crowd descended on the Linenhall to see the latest work from Bryan Gerard Duffy... Beginning in the theatre with a showing of Bryan's Award Winning Short Documentary "Sumud, Everyday Resistance", the packed theatre was then treated to a fantastic speech by the special guest speaker, and iconic Artist, Sean Hillen - who then declared the exhibition officially open." LINK
July 2017: DOCUMENTARY TV BROADCAST & ONLINE
Paddy Cahill's prizewinning mini-documentary; (now selected for 16 festivals) "Seán Hillen- Merging Views" was broadcast on national TV: RTÉ TV2 on 11th July and is now on the RTÉ Player online, though is 'geo-locked' so won't play outside the Republic, (without a VPN like hola.org ) but will be posted presently on Vimeo, and we'll post the link then.
June 2017: BOOK SELECTED FOR PHOTO-FESTIVAL
The newly-republished (in paperback form) 'Melancholy Witness' was selected from thousands of entries for inclusion in the public photobook library at Belfast Photo Festival:
June 2017: TALK & EXHIBITION AT LITERARY FESTIVAL
Seán gave a talk on his work in association with a temporary exhibition of some of his works from a private collection, as part of Kells Literary Festival LINK
May 2017: FEATURE ON BRITISH COUNCIL WEBSITE
Seán was featured in a new online feature on photography from the Northern Irish conflict ;
"History through the lens: three Belfast photographers" From the article:
"Over 3,600 people lost their lives over this 30-year period, with tens of thousands more injured and countless left traumatised. This catastrophic conflict left an indelible mark on the nation’s consciousness and visual landscape, and photography became the medium of choice for many who wished to document and reflect on what was happening around them.
Three such photographers were Seán Hillen, Paul Seawright and Donovan Wylie, all of whom made work relating to the Troubles and are now recognised as some of the country’s most accomplished photographers. " LINK
April 2017: NEW BBC TV INTERVIEW
An interview with Seán is featured on the BBC NI 'Arts Show' broadcast on BBC2 NI on Thursday 27th. April at 10pm and BBC1 NI on Monday 1st May at 10.30 LINK
"Melding Troubles-era photography with fantasy and science fiction to otherworldly effect"
It is available for a month online and on the BBC iPlayer (UK only or play via Hola) LINK
April 2017: FEATURE REVIEW PUBLISHED
A super review by Marianne Boal O'Kane in a 4-page spread in 'Perspective' the magazine of the Royal Society of Ulster Architects; (large pdf's) page1 page2.
May 2017: BOOK REPUBLICATION IN PAPERBACK FORM
'Melancholy Witness' the book of Seán's 'Troubles'-era photographs is being republished as a paperback by The History Press on the 10th May. LINK It was originally published in 2013 and republished in the US by Trafalgar Square Press in 2014
March 2017: NEW PODCAST INTERVIEW
Seán did a comprehensive interview for Conor Sweetman's Everyday People podcast.
Jan - March 2017: MAJOR RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION BELFAST
Seán Hillen : 100 Works opened in the Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast on Thursday 26th January and ran until 11th March 2017 (invitation here)
From the press release: "100 Works; focused on his practice as a collagist, with works dating back to the early 1980’s, is the first major solo exhibition of Sean Hillen in Northern Ireland and the largest ever collection of his works. His distinctive images have been circulating in Irish visual culture for over 30 years.."
Sean gave an artist's talk on Friday 27th.
The exhibition received several features in the national general press including an interview on BBC Radio Ulster and a feature with video at the Belfast Telegraph site.
(The BBC link to the isolated 10 minute interview seems faulty so the whole programme is available here and the interview runs from around 10 to 20:00 minutes in. )
BBC TV Northern Ireland will broadcast a feature on their Arts Show in late April.
February: NEW TV INTERVIEW: NVTV, Belfast City's cable station, have posted online their 25 minute interview of Seán by Mo McDevitt where he talks about his recent Asperger's diagnosis, censorship and more.. Watch HERE
November 2016- April 2017: MINIDOCUMENTARY SHOWN IN FILM FESTIVALS
Paddy Cahill and Basil Al-Rawi's recent short documentary portrait (produced by Tal Green) has now won prizes and been selected for a number of festivals most recently at the London Irish Film Festival, Shebeen Berlin, San Francisco, Rome; (read a mini-interview with Paddy), more here including trailer
The most recently-announced selection is for Belfast Film Festival, on 2nd April.
November 2016 IRISH STATE COLLECTION ACQUIRES SUITE OF IRELANTIS PRINTS
The Office of Public Works acquired a suite of 25 archival prints of the IRELANTIS series for the State Collection as first announced earlier in the year.
October 2016 COLLAGE PUBLISHED IN TWO NEW BOOKS
Seán's photocollage from 2007; "No Evidence of A 757 Near The Ha'Penny Bridge" was published within a month in two new books: A miniature facsimile version made for the Bennetton 'Imago Mundi' collection was published in the catalogue, and it also appeared in Dublin City Council's new book produced to mark the bridge's 200th anniversary 'The Ha'penny Bridge Dublin' LINK
Sept 2016 NEW ONLINE MINIDOCUMENTARY
Bryan Meade produced a new minidocumentary published here with an article at murmur.ie
"Presently, Hillen is busy preparing a new book which he says will be a definitive collection of a hundred works with a text by writer Mic Moroney. The, as yet, untitled book is being designed by Eric Kessels under the working title: The Wonderful World of Seán Hillen.Most of the catalogue of work included in the upcoming book will be displayed in The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast in January 2017."
October 2016 LECTURE
Seán contributed to a review and gave a talk, attended by members of the public and students of Architecture and other faculties, at FABLAB at the University of Limerick on Friday 14th October.
Sept-October 2016 'MELANCHOLY WITNESS' EXHIBITIONS IN IRELAND
Exhibitions including 30 and 35 prints from the Sean Hillen collection of 'Troubles' photos ran in Westport in the west of Ireland and in Newry Co.Down.
The Westport show, as the key exhibition of Westport Arts Festival occupied 2 floors of the Custom House Studios and included 15 prints and originals of the photocollage works as well as 35 prints, and the program included two public talks. LINK
The Newry exhibition contained 30 prints featuring many of the photographs originally taken in the Newry area.
Oct-July 2016: NEW DOCUMENTARY WINS 'BEST IN CATEGORY' ; WIDELY SHOWN
A newly-made short documentary called 'Seán Hillen - Merging Views' by Paddy Cahill (with cameraman Basil Al-Rawi, sound by Mike Glennon and produced by Tal Green) was seen for the first time at Galway Film Fleadh and won 'Best Film' in its category.
It was selected for the Irish Film Institute's Documentary Festival in September and shown in association with the exhibition of some of the 'Melancholy Witness' photos at Westport Arts Festival in October (see above). It has also been chosen and shown at San Francisco irish Film Festival and Kerry Film Festival.
It won a 'Francie' (short for The Francie Brady Not A Bad Bastard Anymore Award) for Best Short Documentary at Clones Film Festival ("Irelands Best Small Festival"-Neil Jordan) on the 30th October. You can see the very brief trailer here:
SEPT-OCTOBER 2016 MAJOR APPEARANCE IN PHOTO FESTIVAL: SWEDEN
1O of new 'artist's facsimiles' of IRELANTIS works appeared in the Landskrona Festival, the most important photo-festival in Sweden, as part of their 'VIEW IRELAND' project, a major overview of Irish photographic practices. The work also appears over nine pages in the magnificent catalogue published as part of the show. See here
June 2016: ACQUISITIONS TO MAIN NATIONAL COLLECTION:
The Office of Public Works acquired for the Irish State Collection a Seán Hillen photocollage original from 1985: "Natives in A Mystic State #3", which will shortly be added to the main web gallery here.
They will also be acquiring a set of 24 IRELANTIS prints and also ordered one of the new 'artist's facsimile' edition of recollaged print works (made in an edition of 5), (10 of which were recently on exhibition at Landskrona Festival); in this case; "The Great Cliffs of Collage Green"
May 2016: WORK PUBLISHED IN SUNDAY TIMES
Seán's "WHAT'S WRONG? with The New Post Office.." work was featured in the Sunday Times Irish edition and mentioned as "..Seán Hillen's cool photographic collages..".
May 2016: FULL-PAGE ARTICLE IN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER
Seán's 'Troubles'-era work was given a full-page feature in the Irish Post with an online article.
April 2016: NEW ONLINE GALLERY INCLUDING WORKS FOR SALE
Akehurst Publishing have made available a new temporary online exhibition of Seán Hillen's 'Troubles'-era work for sale including original collages and editioned prints.
See more here:
April 2016: ACADEMIC PAPER ON 'IRELANTIS' REPUBLISHED ONLINE
An excellent academic paper on Seán's 'Irelantis' collage works has been republished here.
"Seán Hillen's IRELANTIS- The Second Life of Parody" by Valérie Morrison of the University of Dijon was first published in Ranam 45, Strasbourg, 2012, and is republished by special permission of Ranam Journal. Read here
April 2016: SYMPOSIUM PRESENTATION AND KEY IMAGE
Seán gave a presentation at the Symposium at Trinity College Dublin:
'RuinNation: the ruin in Irish art and visual culture, 1916-2016' on Saturday 2nd April.
Seán's 2007 work 'Searching for Evidence.. in The Rose Garden, Tralee' was the key image for the event.
Sean gave a 25 minute presentation titled 'Never Waste a Good Ruin' (link)
March 2016: COMMISSIONED WORK ON TOUR AND ON MAGAZINE COVER- (PRINT AVAILABLE)
Seán's 2015 work; "WHAT'S WRONG? with The New Post Office, 1818-2016" is reproduced on the cover of the March-April edition of the widely-read 'History Ireland' magazine (link here)
Commissioned by collector Larry Lambe, the original collage has just gone on touring exhibition:
'1916 in Contemporary Art' opened in the Toradh Art Gallery in Ashbourne Co. Meath and will tour:Crawford Gallery Cork; 24 June - 24 August 2016
Galway City Museum; Sept
Toradh Gallery Co. Meath; 15 March-29 April 2016
March 2016: NEW SMALL-EDITION PRINT AVAILABLE:
An archival print is available in an edition of 10; see thumbnail on right for larger image.
Contact Seán Hillen directly here or one of the galleries above to enquire.
March 2016: EXHIBITION OPENING SPEECH
Seán opened an exhibition for Irish artist Olwyn Colgan at the inSpire Gallery in Dublin.
See olwyncogan.com and relevant post on facebook: link
February 2016: IMAGES INCORPORATED IN ONLINE VIDEO ARTWORK
Many of Seán's IRELANTIS collage images were incorporated in a powerful online video work with spoken word and music by Irish writer and musician Nina Hynes as artist-in-residence to online mag The Wild Word. See here.
January 2016: ONLINE JOURNAL INTERVIEW
Seán was interviewed in depth for the online journal Independant Journal of Interdisciplinary Arts (link)
You can read the interview separately here:
November 2015: NEW POSTCARD SET PUBLICATION
Akehurst Press has published a beautifully collected set of 8 high-quality art postcards of IRELANTIS collages, edited for the project by Sean. READ MORE AND ORDER HERE or click thumbnail on right.
November 2015: PRESENTATION TO PRESIDENT
Sean was formally introduced to the Irish President; 'An Uachtaráin' at a reception in Dublin and presented him with a copy of 'Melancholy Witness' the book. see thumbnail on right.
October 2015: TWO NEW GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Two rarely-seen Irelantis originals currently feature in a group exhibition (selected from 2,000 works in the State Collection): At Lexicon Dún Laoghaire outside Dublin: 19th November- 6th January: Read more
Two important 'Troubles'-era photomontage works from the Newry& Mourne Museum's Permanent Collection have gone on show at Bagenal's Castle Regional Museum in Newry Co. Down. They will be replaced by two others from the Collection in January 2016.
October 2015: MAJOR BURSARY AWARD
Seán was awarded a major Bursary of €9,900 by the Arts Council of Ireland to support him in the next year towards new work, his forthcoming new book and retrospective exhibition.
Sept 2015: IMPORTANT ART MAGAZINE PUBLICATION
The Irish Arts Review commissioned a two-page article on Seán's 'Searching for Evidence..' work on foot of it being the subject of a conference panel at UCC and exhibited at the Glucksman Gallery. See thumbnails on right or read a pdf HERE.
Sept 2015: KEYNOTE PRESENTATION AT CONFERENCE
Seán's work was the subject of a panel at an international conference of Sociologists at University College Cork. 'Commemoration: Contexts & Concepts' ran September 3rd and 4th 2015.
See web-page. See call-for-papersPDF
One of Seán's 'Searching for Evidence..' works, (recently exhibited at the FORMAT Festival in Derby UK) was used as the key image.
Sept 2015 TEMPORARY EXHIBITION
Associated with the conference (see above) there was be a temporary exhibition of the 10 works in the foyer of the Glucksman Gallery Cork
August 2015: FORTHCOMING RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION OPENS 2017
It was announced that Seán's work over the past 35 years will be reviewed in a major exhibition of c.100 works opening at The Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast on 19 Jan 2017.
July 2015: EXHIBITION OPENING
Seán opened the 2015 Graduate Exhibition at Griffith College Dublin
April 2015: WORK FRONTISPIECE IN IMPORTANT MUSEUM PUBLICATION
One of Seán's several works held in the Imperial War Museum's Permanent Collection features in a full-page article and as the frontispiece in an important new publication from the Museum:
'Art From Contemporary Conflict': more here buy here for images see thumbnails on right
March-April 2015: FORMAT INTERNATIONAL PHOTO FESTIVAL EXHIBITION
Seán's 2007-09 series; "Searching for Evidence.." was selected from over 1,000 submissions for exhibition at the FORMAT Festival in Derby, UK, opening 12th March and running until 12th April 2015.
Six original collages (several borrowed from Private Collections) and four prints will be exhibited.
Seán's work got an honourable mention as 'Underrated' in the British Journal of Photography Online's roundup of 'what-to-see': http://www.bjp-online.com/2015/03/what-to-see-format-festival-derby-2015/
The 'Searching for Evidence' collages: http://seanhillen.com/NewEvidence/
February 2015: IMPORTANT ONLINE ARCHIVE PUBLICATION
Seán's work has been included in the long-awaited 'Troubles Art Archive' recently published by the ACNI:
February-April 2015: NEWLY ACQUIRED WORK ON EXHIBITION
"Five Self-Portraits as Gagarin.." is on exhibition in Limerick until 3rd April 2015:
November 2014: PUBLICATION IN DEFINITIVE REFERENCE WORK
Seán was one of only 200 artists from the last 1600 years of Irish history to be given a full biographical entry in the just-published 20-year, 17kg, 3,000 page "Art & architecture of Ireland" from the Royal Irish Academy and Yale University Press. There were two images published, "Two Old Men And a Marine Commando" the photo from the Sean Hillen Collection at The National Library, and "Sun, Sand & Cement in Temple Bar IRELANTIS" was published in the introduction to the 'Architecture' volume. There are 4 index references.
read more here See thumbnails on right for images.
August- November 2014: ACQUISITION TO IMPORTANT COLLECTION OF ARTISTS' POSTCARDS
Seán's work "Four Ideas For a New Town, No.15" (image on right) has been acquired for, and is included in a new show of selections from, The Jeremy Cooper Collection of artworks based on postcards, currently on show at the Atkinson Art Gallery in Southport, UK. Including works by Dieter Roth, Joseph Beuys & Gilbert & George amonst others, the collection will tour the UK during 2015 and in 2018 it will be acquired permanently by the British Museum. More about the show here.
April- September 2014: WORKS IN MAJOR MUSEUM EXHIBITION
Three of Seán's 'Troubles'-era collage works were included in 'Art of The Troubles'; the first major review of artists' responses to the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland in an exhibition at the Ulster Museum. The works were loaned from the collections of Wolverhampton Museum and the Imperial War Museum. See more here.
July 2014: EXHIBITION OPENING
Seán opened an exhibition of work by Lynne Rothwell at Inspirational Arts in Dublin Read more here
June-August 2014: WORK SELECTED FOR NATIONAL EXHIBITION
The collage original work: "Icarus on The Motorway" was chosen by selectors Martin Gale and Rachel Joynt for the 2014 Eigse Open Exhibition at VISUAL Centre Carlow (and was purchased by a private collector).
See more here.
June 2014: WORK FEATURED IN IMPORTANT BOOK ON 'TROUBLES' ERA PHOTOGRAPHY
Seán's"Gagarin Crosses The Border" is reproduced in the Irish Times review of "Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography" by Colin Graham: link here.
There are a number of reproductions of Seán's work and an excellent text by Colin Graham. read here
May-August 2014: EXHIBITION OF WORK IN MAJOR BANK COLLECTION
"The Launchpad at O'Connell St., Dublin,. IRELANTIS" was exhibited in the Hunt Museum, Limerick as part of a group selected from the Allied Irish Bank Collection by Donald Teskey, artist. Read more
May 2014: WORKS DONATED TO CHARITY AUCTION
Seán donated several prints of his collage works which were auctioned, raising nearly £2,000 for the charity Cooperation Ireland ; 'The peace-building charity'- at their Legal Fundraising Dinner at The Dorchester; "one of the most prestigious dinners in London held for the legal profession" read more here. image
April 2014: 'MELANCHOLY WITNESS' REPUBLISHED IN U.S.
Seáns book of photographs from the 'Troubles' era, recently acquired (2011) by the National Library of Ireland (read more below) and published in 2013 by The History Press has now been republished in the US and is available to buy on US websites including WALMART ; buy here
March 2014: ACQUISITION TO NATIONAL COLLECTION
Seán's self-portrait collage work "Five Self-Portraits as Gagarin" (image on right) has been acquired by the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, held by the University of Limerick. It is expected to be exhibited later in 2014.
January 2014: EXHIBITION OF NEW PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND NEW WEBGALLERIES
Seán showed a massive new body of photographic work:
New temporary webgalleries here: rectangularclouds.com and triangularclouds.com
"Holes In Heaven" 16th Jan- 13th Feb at Oliver Sears Gallery in a 2-person show with Stephanie Rowe comprised of over 600 images.Thumbnails of exhibition on right.
From the press release: The sky has long been a subject for artists as well as probably always having been the object of curiosity and attention. "Clouds always tell a true story,"; the Victorian meteorologist Ralph Abercromby wrote; "but one that is difficult to read.."'
'Clouds have also always been a metaphor for doubt. Perhaps that is why when artist Seán Hillen turned his attention and his lens to the clouds, what he found there and photographed, whilst beautiful, is to him still enigmatic, mystifying and slightly disturbing.
The Business Post and Metro newspaper both covered the opening.
Seán was interviewed on the live Arts programme 'Arena' on national radio station RTÉ1: podcast here:
The show was featured in the Irish Times 'Ticket' magazine with critic Aidan Dunne commenting: "the odd thing is this, that while the images may seem collaged or photoshopped, they are actually straightforward and un-doctored.."
January 2014: DUBLIN EXHIBITION OF RECENT ILLUSTRATION WORKS:
6 of the 'Legends Of The Fall' illustrations produced recently for the Irish Times can be seen in a show with artist-photographer Joby Hickey, opened by eminent director John Boorman at Inspirational Arts at Herbert Street Dublin until the end of January. Read more here: See the Legends Of The Fall images here:
The Irish Times reported here, and the Irish Independent ran "Icarus on The Motorway" fullpage in an 'Our Favourite Things' feature.
December 2013: 'MELANCHOLY WITNESS' BOOK REPUBLISHED IN U.S.
Seán's book 'Melancholy Witness' published by The History Press has been selected for the Spring catalogue of the US publisher/distributor IPG / Trafalgar Square, and has a USA publishing date of April 2014. The book is already available on Amazon , got an honourable mention in the Publishers' Weekly Annual Review of New Books and is now for sale on the WALMART website.
October 2013: EXHIBITION OPENINGS
Seán opened two exhibitions on the same night, (a feat remarked upon by the Dublin Evening Herald).
At the Centre for Creative Practices he launched a review of the collage work of Roger Hudson and later he gave a speech opening the New Living Art IV Exhibition at Moxie Studios, featuring the work of around 30 artists.
September 2013: FESTIVAL TALK:
Seán gave a presentation and participated in the panel discussion with Danny Morrison, Chris McGimpsey and Jonathon Hodges at the ENGAGE Festival on Sat. Sept 28th. Read more here . image here.
October 2013: SYMPOSIUM TALK:
Seán gave a presentation and contributed to a panel at the Symposium "City- as Archive; a House for Eileen Gray" held in the Great Hall, Irish Museum of Modern Art, 23rd and 24th of October, as part of a series of events.. Read more here
July- September 2013: MAJOR ILLUSTRATION COMMISSION FOR IRISH TIMES
Seán was commissioned by the Irish Times to produce a set of 10 illustrations for an important series of short stories by some of the most interesting contemporary Irish writers, under the title "Legends Of The Fall". See a temporary public web-gallery of the images here on facebook or click either thumbnail on right:
August 2013: TV INTERVIEW
There is a new 10-minute interview with Seán at the beginning of Dublin Community TV's 'Generator' Arts programme: Watch here
May- July 2013: EXHIBITION: 'PICTURING DERRY'
Seán showed around 12 collages and several photographs in the historic 'Picturing Derry' exhibition which is part of the City of Culture programme. read more
There is a new short video on the exhibition with some interview material: view here
more here on the culture24.org site
May- July 2013: EXHIBITION: 'NORTHERN IRELAND: 30 YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY' -
Sean had 3 collage works in this historic exhibition at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
read more There was also a very significant hardback publication in association with the exhibition with a text by Colin Graham, in which the three collages are reproduced and the work is discussed.
Colin Graham has generously made available his text, excerpted; read here .
Read more about the book here:
June 2013: IMPORTANT REVIEW FOR NEW BOOK: 'MELANCHOLY WITNESS'
The Irish Times published a thoughtful book review of 'Melancholy Witness' by picture editor and photographer Frank Miller: " ..all the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for an inability to notice. This volume is something of a gem. In a world of image overload it represents a triumph of substance over technique.."
read online here. See an image here.
June 2013: BBC RADIO INTERVIEW
Seán did a short general interview on photography alongside Roger Ballen and Harriet Purkis for BBC Radio Ulster's 'Arts Extra' Programme. You can download a podcast of the whole program (Mon 13th edition: Seán comes in first around 15:00) at this page or directly at this link
June 2013: TEMPLE BAR PHOTOGRAPHY SUMMER SCHOOL
Seán was a panellist and presenter at the new Summer School with a host of eminent contributors: read more
June 2013: FRONT-PAGE FEATURE ONLINE
A new slideshow of the 'Melancholy Witness images' featured on the front page of socialdocumentary.net
The slideshow can be seen here .
May 2013: SUNDAY TIMES PHOTO SPREAD
The Sunday Times Culture Section used very large a photo from the new book and discussed Seán's work in a piece on the "Northern Ireland: 30 Years of Photography" exhibition which recently opened in Belfast. see image.
May 2013: ONLINE FEATURE: LECOOL
LeCool online magazine carried a kind notice for the book launch: read
April 2013: NEW BOOK LAUNCH: 'MELANCHOLY WITNESS'
Roy Foster, professor of Irish History at Oxford launched The History Press Ireland's "Melancholy Witness", the hardback collection of 120 photos from the Seán Hillen Collection of photographs recently acquired by the National Library of Ireland.
The event took place in the front hall of the National Library of Ireland in Kildare Street in Dublin. Someone has kindly uploaded a video of the speeches: here . UPDATE You can now read Prof. Foster's speech here.
The book is well-distributed so ideally can be found or ordered in your local bookshop but is available online here and here or signed and inscribed copies are available direct from this website. Click here to email enquiry.
From the book jacket:
"Melancholy Witness is the published collection of Sean Hillen's lauded photography documenting the years of The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Combining art with documentary history, what emerges is a powerful and compelling story of unrest, beauty and change."
"The photographs are like black and white time machines that bring back the desolation and danger of the Troubles. The images have a documentary accuracy, but it is the aura of melancholy witness that marks them as the work of Sean Hillen."
- Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate
"Striking, haunting sometimes bleakly beautiful:
a record of historical importance but also much more."
- Roy Foster, Carroll Professor of Irish History, Hertford College, Oxford.
March 2013: WORK ON COVER OF NEW BOOK ON IRISH ART
"The Oracle at O'Connell Bridge, Irelantis" appears on the cover of an important new book on Irish art: Reaktion Books has published 'Art in Ireland since 1910' , to be distributed in the US by the University of Chicago Press
March 2013: INTERVIEW IN ARGON MAGAZINE
Seán was interviewed by Katy Fitzpatrick for Argon online magazine: link
March 2013: PHOTO FEATURE AND INTERVIEW ONLINE
For the OFFSET festival LeCool Dublin commissioned SeanandYvette to photograph Seán in his studio. Words byBrian Herron. See it here.
February 2013: UPDATE: WORKS ON MORE THAN 30 BOOK COVERS
With the forthcoming cover image it seems a good time to review (link) the many books and magazines with Seán Hillen works on their covers.
January 2013: ONE-DAY SYMPOSIUM ON COLLECTING
Sean took part in a symposium on January 26th at the Irish Gallery of Photography, which looked at issues around collecting photography.
Read more here on GoP's facebook page:
January 2013: EN FRANCAIS: ONLINE ARTICLE ON SEAN HILLEN
Le Web Pedagogique blog 'Tips in English' carries a comprehensive article covering a range of Sean's work, with links to other texts in French.
The original in French is here and an online translation in English here
December 2012: BBC INTERVIEW SPECIAL PROGRAMME
BBC Radio Ulster Arts Extra broadcast an interview with Sean with Louise Muir as one of their Christmas Special programmes. Produced by Paul Russell, the programme was on iPlayer and and may become available again as podcast.
December 2012 PAPER ON IRELANTIS IN IMPORTANT JOURNAL
The eminent journal Ranam published a fascinating academic paper by Valerie Morrison of the University of Bourgogne, entitled "Sean Hillen's Irelantis- the second life of parody". You can read the abstract here which says: "..postmodern parodies that .. spur the viewers to address the issue of referentiality as reality is turned into a spectacle.. also parodies tourism photography and the staging of heritage.. therefore a critical inquiry into Irishness, the invention of traditions, and the construction of staged authenticity. It echoes the revisionist trend in Irish history and signals the advent of the postnational era."
OPENING CHAPTER DISCUSSING IRELANTIS NOW AVAILABLE
The complete opening chapter from 'Theorizing Ireland' (Palgrave, 2002) recently became available online here: Ireland in Theory', (pdf) . By editor Claire Connolly of Cardiff University, it devotes several pages to an interesting discussion of Irelantis:
"Hillen's Irelantis provides an ideal viewpoint from which the ebb and flow of cultural currents can be observed.. ...
...Multiple borders are invoked in the image: the land meets the lough, which in its turn confronts the sea; the sea encounters sky and the skyline dramatically gives way to outer space. Boundaries and edges are the very stuff of Hillen's art, and here, as with all his collages, the lines and joins are obvious, jutting out for all to see. The pyramids are clearly pasted into the Irish landscape, itself overlaid into a global skyscape. If Carlingford Lough's strategic position on the Irish border is taken into account, the meanings of these boundaries become clearer: they inscribe a political border that is not physically present, the only clues to its existence being the juxtaposition of superimposed scenes... "
Irelantis has also been written about interestingly in the past by academics including Jennifer Way (Uni. Texas) here for instance published in the Journal of European Popular Culture, and here in the Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies.
December 2012: HILLEN IN NEW BOOK ON 'NEW CONTEMPORARY' IRISH ART
Seán Hillen's work features over several pages in a new book on 'New Contemporary' Irish art, a genre that admits 'Lowbrow, Pop Surrealism, Comic, Graphic, Illustrative, Urban, Body Horror, and more'. 'Goblin Market' by Alexa MacDermot, published by White Lady Art includes work by artists including; Anarkitty, Gaetan Billault, Harriet Myfanwy Nia Tahany, Solus, Verz, Rosemary Fallon, Kathrina Rupit, Paul McGrane, Victoria Cody, Loreana Rushe, Carolyn Walsh, DMC, ADW, Leah Hewson, Boz Mugabe and Loki Nom Art... more information here.
October-December 2012: ' SEAN HILLEN RE-VIEWED' EXHIBITION IN DONEGAL
The new exhibition of mega-resolution prints ran in An Gealearaí in Gweedore , in Donegal. Also featuring were two original collages from the 'WHAT'S WRONG? with The Consolations of Genius" series. The show ran until 21st. December.
September 2012: EXHIBITION OPENED BY SEÁN
Seán opened 'Tales of Seduction' by artist & illustrator Una Gildea at the Copper House Gallery- see more about the opening here and her terrific work here.
September 2012 INSPIRATIONAL ARTS AWARD PRESENTED
Seán was honoured to judge and present the 2012 award. This year's shortlist showed very exciting work, see the web-galleries of Karl Martini and Laura McCormack, and the highly deserving winner Lynn Rothwell.
September 2012 PHOTOS IN NEWRY EXHIBITION
Six of the photographs recently acquired by the NLI were in an exhibition as part of the Pride In Newry Festival .
September 2012 WORKS IN OMAGH LITERARY FESTIVAL EXHIBITION:
Seán has three works, including a new version of "WHAT'S WRONG? with WTC7", the animation work created for the Photographer's Gallery London in May. "Memory, Imagination, Myth" in the Strule Arts Centre, as part of the The Benedict Kiely Literary Festival (website) (download PDF). Curated by Terry Sweeney, the exhibition includes work by JB Yeats and George (AE) Russell as well as contemporary Irish artists.
Aug-September 2012: NATIONAL LIBRARY ACQUISITION & EXHIBITION
The National Library of Ireland announced at PhotoIreland 2012 that it had acquired and would exhibit what will be known as The Seán Hillen Collection of around 600 photographs taken by the artist between 1979 and 1990.
Read more here See a selection of the photos here
There was a major exhibition of almost 50 photos in the National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive gallery in Temple Bar Dublin as a Featured Exhibition of PhotoIreland 2012 7 days a week until 30th September.
Update:16,500 people visited the NLI exhibition.
The exhibition was opened with a moving speech by author Don Mullan.
TALK- PART 1 POSTED ON WEB: Seán gave a 2-hr 'walking tour' of the NLI exhibition which was filmed by TV Monaghan and a first instalment has been posted on YouTube here, a sort of introduction and discussion of the first group of photos in the show.
PRESS: There is a very moving review in Le Cool online magazine here.
PRESS: Two photos feature in an Irish Times online slideshow here.
PRESS: There was a page devoted to a photo in the July Totally Dublin Magazine see screengrab or read the edition online here.
NATIONAL TV INTERVIEW:
Seán did an interview with Martin King of Ireland's TV3.
NATIONAL RADIO APPEARANCE:
Seán gave a short interview on the National radio station RTÉ's 'Morning Ireland' to talk about the NLI show and about 'Culture Night' when art institutions across Ireland remain open until late night. 2856 people visited the NLI exhibition on the night
TALK: GALLERY TALK 10th August NLI Photo Archive Dublin
As part of the Temple Bar 'High Tea Hop' day Seán gave a 45 minute talk. Seán gave a number of talks on the exhibition to different groups.
May 2012: EXHIBITION OF NEW ANIMATION ARTWORK LONDON
Seán was invited to contribute a new artwork, in the form of a GIF image animation, for exhibition on a video wal at The Photographer's Gallery.
Here's the GIF on their page
Here's more about the project which celebrated the history of the GIF image, as part of activities celebrating the Gallery's reopening.
The new work; "WHAT'S WRONG? with WTC7.." was seen again with two other Hillen works in an interesting exhibition in Omagh in September.
Here is the full-resolution version of the animation- may take a few seconds to load.
February 2012: EXHIBITION DUBLIN / NEW PRINT EDITIONS
A new exhibition presents new museum-scale print editions derived from new ultra-high-resolution scans of Seán's collages . "ReViewed" by Seán Hillen at Copper House Gallery Synge St. Dublin, was opened by Tanya Kiang, director of the Gallery of Photography.
READ PRESS RELEASE
Ros Drinkwater for the Sunday Business Post
Conor McDevitt for Le Cool
'Going Out' list in Metro Herald
October 2011: VISITING LECTURES MADRID
Seán visited to give lectures and teaching for the International Photobook course for the very interesting European Master In Fine Art Photography course at the IED Madrid. Download PDF. Website. The course has an international visitng staff including Simon Roberts and Martin Parr.
September 2011: INSPIRATIONAL ARTS PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD
Seán had the task of choosing shortlists and winners from the photography courses taking part in the 2011 Inspirational Arts Photography Award, with the final award given on Culture Night 23rd September.
August 2011: NEW KINETIC SCULPTURE IN EXHIBITION
Seán contributed a new kinetic sculptural work to the prizewinning Science Gallery at Trinity College's exhibition; ELEMENTS
See website here and image here
July 2011: EXHIBITION DUBLIN / WEBSITE OF NEW PHOTO WORKS
A new body of photographs by Seán Hillen was shown:
"Ghost Shops" a major exhibition for PhotoIreland 2011
July 2011: PRESS: ONLINE ARTICLE & SLIDESHOW
The Journal.ie: 'An Empty Set Photographed'
April 2011: PRESS: SLIDESHOW
One of Seán's Ghost Shop photos appeared as a 'postcard' in an Irish Times feature "Wish You Were Here?" which can be seen as a slideshow here
March 2011: PRESS: ONLINE ARTICLES & SLIDESHOWS & VIDEO
The Journal.ie: 'Artist Seán Hillen brings new political statement to Dail's doorstep'
Vulgo.ie: Audio interview and slideshow by Deirdre Mulrooney
Short video by Bryan Meade on 'Ghost Shops'
2011: PRESS: IMPORTANT REVIEW ARTICLE
thumbnails for links or larger images, more links in main text on left