‘The Deep Well of Want’
An exhibition of photographs by Paul Butler exploring the rituals, religion and environment within the writing of John McGahern.
Exhibition continues until Tuesday 23rd April
Paul Butler is a photographer living in Farnaught, Mohill. For over seventeen years has been recording landscapes, people and the environment of this part of the North West of Ireland, with particular emphasis on Co Leitrim, home of John McGahern.
This exhibition is number two in a series and part of an ongoing research masters by Paul Butler
The Deep Well of Want is a MA research project by Paul Butler.
The aim of this research project is to provide a visual representation of the writing of John McGahern, one of Ireland’s foremost writers. The imagery was recorded within the North West of Ireland, particularly Leitrim, an area close to the writer’s heart. John McGahern was a very descriptive writer and we look at his details of nature, landscape, ritual, religion and want. This is a fading part of Ireland, a time and place that was honestly and beautifully portrayed within the works of McGahern. By visualising his work the emphasis is on this unique landscape of Co Leitrim and the slow decay of the many abandoned dwellings, taking the reader on a journey into a fading world.
The idea for this current research project began back in 2010 when I was working on a photo story of an abandoned dwelling in Leitrim, titled A Life Over . AN exhibition in 2012 titled ‘Still ‘was hosted in the Institute of Technology, Tallaght during the Red Line Book Festival. This exhibition combined passages from the various works of John McGahern with landscapes and abandoned house interiors throughout the north west of Ireland. Various exhibitions followed leading to, ‘The Deep Well of Want’ which was hosted during the John McGahern 10th anniversary symposium in St Patrick’s College in April 2016. An expanded exhibition was hosted by the Atrium Gallery in Longford, Backstage Theatre for the month of June 2016.
Paul Butler has lived in Farnaught, Co Leitrim for the last sixteen years and works for The Institute of Technology Tallaght (www.it-tallaght.ie) and in collaboration with Dr Eamon Maher has helped produced presentations and papers on the author. Eamon is the Director of the National Centre for Irish Franco Studies (www.it-tallaght.ie/ncfis) and he has written many publications on John McGahern.
Irish Times Article about the exhibition