NUI Galway Library Hosts Abandoned Mansions Photo Exhibition

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

NUI Galway’s James Hardiman Library will host renowned photographer Tarquin Blake’s Abandoned Mansions of Ireland exhibition until Friday, 24 June. Opening today, this photographic project spans three years of research and documentation and contains more than 40 images of the lost estate houses of Ireland.

Blake documents the end of the landed aristocracy in Ireland and the demise of their country mansion houses. His beautiful, haunting images of crumbling ruins convey an indefinable beauty in the decay - in the abandonment. The images are accompanied by history and folklore, telling of troubled times and private hardship. The exhibition also features two audio visual presentations.

The exhibition will be launched on Friday, 27 May at 4pm by Professor Gearoid Ó Tuathaigh of NUI Galway’s Moore Institute. Professor Ó Tuathaigh is Project Leader of Landed Estates and Country Houses in Connacht c1700-1914, a major historical database. Tarquin Blake will be present at the launch.

Also on display will be items from the James Hardiman Library’s landed estates collections. In 2010, Collins Press published a book of Tarquin Blake’s photographs Abandoned Mansions of Ireland. More photographs can be viewed on his website:

Over the summer period, the Library will be open until 10pm Monday to Thursday, 5.30pm Fridays, and 10 am to 5pm Saturdays. Admission to the exhibition is free.



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