Picturing Derry

Picturing Derry

Section Display: 
Nerve Visual

A partnership project between the Nerve Centre and Culture Company, bringing together for the first time some of the most iconic images of the Troubles in the city in one exhibition

Legendary French photojournalist Gilles Caron’s previously unseen major body of work during the Battle of the Bogside in August 1969 formed a major part of the exhibition. It also included the work of other visiting photographers from around the world as well as images by amateur as well as local news photographers.

Many of the 100 plus visitors drawn each day to the exhibition, which MEP Martina Anderson praised as 'hugely significant', were amazed to spot themselves in the photographs and later made return trips in order to share their pictured experiences with family and friends.

The work of the photographers of the city including Willie Carson, Larry Doherty, Eamon Melaugh and Barney McMonagle, brought their unique local knowledge to cast a light on some previously unseen elements of life in the city.

Photojournalists from around the world covered the conflict and the work of Gilles Caron and Clive Limpkin became iconic images, known around the world. Documentary photographers such as Homer Sykes from the UK and Brian J Gill from the USA fitted Derry~Londonderry’s conflict into their studies of working class lives and youth gangs.

Picturing Derry

Camerawork Darkrooms, a photography training collective established in the Bogside at the height of the Troubles with international curator Trisha Ziff, used photography as a means to express community identity. Over the same period, the official British Army photographer captured surveillance images of the community as conflict zone. One gallery room told the stories of these opposing perspectives.

Artists from the city and further afield, including Willie Doherty, Sean Hillen and Victor Sloan made the conflict in Derry~Londonderry their subject, establishing international reputations and bringing unique insight into the image of the city in conflict.

These photographs have been brought together to form a substantial exhibition of a period of almost 30 years, covering many different aspects of life in the city from 1969 up to the late 1980s.

Following their time at the City Factory Gallery selected images from the exhibition journeyed across Europe to be showcased in Berlin and Dubrovnik throughout the remainder of the year.