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Photo Museum Ireland

Association by Brian Newman, signed copy

Association by Brian Newman, signed copy

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Photo Museum Ireland is delighted to announce the publication of Brian Newman’s new book Association, a long-term study of Orange Order Lodges across Ireland’s border counties. 

The Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland is a Protestant fraternity founded in 1795. It is pledged to uphold and propagate the Protestant Christian faith within a broader, increasingly secular and diverse European island. Association considers the remoteness and isolation of border Lodges where diminishing numbers of Lodge members secure the fraternity’s ageing meeting places. 

With Association Newman focuses on the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland as an institution that exists within the divide of Irish and British identities. These sensitive images show an organisation that is in some ways deeply embedded in local communities and in others increasingly isolated, a sense of which is conveyed by the spaces within the Lodges themselves. 

Newman has built relationships for over a decade with his subjects and this is reflected in the access he has been given to individual Lodges and their members. This timely, new publication presents a portrait of the Orange Order that seeks to go beyond stereotypical representations to reveal a more nuanced and considered perspective. 

From ORANGE HALLS ALONG THE BORDER by Colin Graham

Royal Irish Academy, March 2024

“Newman’s photographic approach to the Orange Order is intimate and empathetically analytical. He does not intrude or interpret. He offers up a close (but not close-up) portrait of an institution. His photographic style sits between art photography and documentary photography in a way that has a clear lineage in recent decades in Northern Ireland.

It is a mode of photography that allows for a long, slow look at things, and in which the physical textures of objects, landscapes and materials become meaningful.

Most obviously, this is undramatic photography.

We might think of the Orange Order primarily through its parades—public, colourful, performative acts of celebration and heritage, or triumphalism and intimidation, depending on one’s viewpoint. In Newman’s work the colour and bombast have been drained, so that the images are dominated by the grey and the drab—the concrete of the car park, the rendering on the wall, the industrial steel of the shipping container. And the lines where these dullness’s meet draw the eye to the banal”

– Colin Graham

Colin Graham is Professor of English at Maynooth University and author of Northern Ireland: Thirty Years of Photography (2013).

About the Artist:

Brian Newman is a photographer and filmmaker. He studied at University of Ulster, graduating with a BA (Hons.) Visual Communication and was awarded an MFA in Photography in 2016. His work has been widely exhibited in Ireland as part of Gallery of Photography Ireland’s Reframing the Border 5-year programme supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund and the department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, organised in partnership with the Nerve Centre and the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. Newman’s series Unsettled Border focuses on the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, an institution that exists within the divide of Irish and British identities. The work reflects on the remoteness and isolation of border Lodges, where diminishing numbers of Orange Order members secure the fraternity’s ageing meeting places. Newman’s work presents a portrait of the Orange Order that seeks to go beyond stereotypical representations to reveal a more nuanced, considered perspective.

BRIAN NEWMAN - ARTIST IN RESIDENCE

As part of the Artist In Residence programme, Photo Museum Ireland has supported Brian Newman’s work exploring the associations and perceptions around the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, one of the institutions in the midst of Northern Ireland’s struggle for political identity.

Published by Photo Museum Ireland

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