Ireland: Island of Struggle and Hope 2015-present

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I traveled to Ireland for the first time in May 2015, and have returned 3 times to date while conducting photo workshops for Leica Store Miami. My paternal lineage is Irish and my first trip was motivated by an ancestral calling and no small measure of ghost chasing, though Ireland immediately became a photographic inspiration.

All of Ireland is beautiful–lush and gritty at the same time. The Irish countryside is one of the world’s treasures. Inhabited by mankind for thousands of years and fought over by warring tribes throughout that history, yet the contested landscape remains beautiful, serene, austere. The Irish continue to inhabit it with vigor. Tending their sheep. Toiling in the fields. Growing barley and oats. The Irish towns, from the quaint villages to the larger cities, are equally compelling. Stone streets lined with a jumble of modest houses, storefronts, and pubs, form the background to a vibrant street life. The frequently brisk, wet, wind beneath a veil of clouds and fog is not so much an impediment, as a rationale for imbibing in the pubs through the evenings. From city to countryside, Ireland is a remarkable experience. It resonated for me.

This portfolio is currently a work in progress. I choose to photograph in black and white because I find it appropriate to the weather and the stubborn, relentless perseverance of the Irish people. There is a monochromatic mood to the place. My long term goal is to publish my Ireland work in book form.

—Richard Sexton