Saturday, 20 November 2010



I have to tell you about this worthwhile exhibition- fast- just a couple of days to go. It is Tarquin Blake’s three year project at the Cork Vision Centre in North Main Street. The photographs of Ireland’s abandoned buildings, mainly the big houses, are top notch and so too is the research, fantastic pictures and stories.

The first one I saw was Affane House (Co. Waterford). Here Sir Walter Raleigh planted the first cherry tree in Ireland. Did you know that?

Then on to 16th century Bunowen Castle ,once home to Donal O’Flaherty and his wife Grainne Ni Mhaille who would become the pirate queen.

Some of the houses have been used in films like Galway’s Ardfry House (Mackintosh Man, with Paul Newman) and Dromore Castle (High Spirits, with Peter O’Toole).

The Cork interest is very strong. There are photo essays on places such as the Magdalen Laundry (Good Shepherd Convent) and on Fort Camden. There are even more on the project’s website.

Some have stories of ghosts and some, such as the Gate House of Castle Oliver, look ghostly. Sometimes the photos are not of the buildings as a whole but of a part, such as The Drawing Room (from Co. Limerick) and The Face (from Glebe House in Wexford).

Excellent exhibition but get there quickly as it closes on the 25th. The website is 

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