A London art gallery is running a fascinating exhibition of photography from the 1916 Easter Rising.
The exhibition is called ‘Easter Rising 1916’ and is made up of the photography collection of Sean Sexton.
It focuses mainly on the Rising, and includes pictures from both sides of the conflict. It also features photographs ranging from the 1840s to the 1930s.
The aim of the exhibition is to investigate the ‘significant role played by photography in informing the national consciousness that led to Irish independence’.
The pictures offer a fascinating – and often harrowing – insight into what life was really like for the people living through the conflict during the period.
Some pictures show the devastating impact the Rising had on the city of Dublin – such as the destruction caused to Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) which was left in ruins by the British army.
It also shows the human side of the time period and there are several photographs of people who took part in the conflict. Some include soldiers poised behind a barricade, while others show some of the most high profile figures of the Rising such as Countess Markievicz.
Other pictures include a group photo of the British Cairo gang, the intelligence agents who worked in Ireland between 1919 and 1921. They were systematically executed on the order of Michael Collins during the War of Independence.
The exhibition is being held at the Photographer’s Gallery, near Oxford Street, Central London, from 22 January to 3 April.
Sean Sexton is from Co Clare and is renowned as one of the world’s most respected collectors and dealers of early photos and cameras.
Irish America magazine has described Sexton’s collection if Irish photographs as ‘the best in the world’.
For more information download the exhibition text here.
Take a look at the video below.