Castles of Ulster
Photographs by Jonathan Olley
A book of pictures of fortified police stations, army barracks and watchtowers in Northern Ireland. In the late 1990s, Jonathan Olley secured remarkable access, which allowed him to photograph these buildings while they were still in use. Since the pictures were taken, many have been dismantled as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Taken with an old, large format camera on a tripod these photographs are both incredibly detailed and dramatic. David Brett an architectural historian introduces the pictures in an essay that traces the history of such fortifications in Ulster. There are also interviews with a soldier who worked as a communications NCO in a number of the buildings, recalling the experience of living and being attacked in the buildings, and with Davy Hyland a former Sinn Féin MLA who has opposed the existence of the buildings as a politician for Newry and Armagh. The book was printed in duotone by specialist photographic printers in Verona under the supervision of the photographer.
'These structures are like Martian spacecraft, one breaks the terraced main street of what looks like a country town and shows that the irenic structures of ordinary architecture must give way to these armed gods, meshed objects that represent the failure of politics and civic values.' Tom Paulin
Jonathan Olleys work has been widely exhibited and collected, most notably by the Imperial War Museum, the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) and Tate Britain. His awards include two first place prizes at the World Press Photo and the Observer Hodge Award. Based in London, he currently teaches part-time on the Documentary Photography course at the University of Wales, Newport, but remains a freelance photographer, undertaking various assignments around the world.
Price: £20, 30Euro
56 pages, hardback with dustcover, 280 x 230mm
Available from 20th April through Easons, Belfast Exposed, The Gallery of Photography, Dublin or directly from the publisher by sending a cheque for the cover price, made out to Factotum, to:
112-114 Donegall Street
Belfast BT1 2GX