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Photo Museum Ireland

Irelantis - Signed Set of 8 postcards by Sean Hillen

Irelantis - Signed Set of 8 postcards by Sean Hillen

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Pack of 8 Postcards of Sean Hillen's acclaimed collages.

 About the artist:

Born in 1961 in Newry, Co.Down just beside the Irish Border, Hillen lives and works in Dublin. He studied first at Belfast College of Art, then went to London to study Media/Fine Art at the London College of Printing and then at the Slade School of Fine Art, London. He lived and worked in London from 1980 to 1992.

His works often involve photography and traditional paper photo-collage, sometimes with his own photos, and have often used humour to deal with serious subjects. His earliest serious artworks were black and white documentary photos taken starting in his teens, during the ‘Troubles’ era of conflict in Northern Ireland, which have since been acquired as a Separate Permanent Collection by the National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive.
A selection were published as a book: ‘Melancholy Witness’ by The History Press UK and republished by Trafalgar Square Press in the US. It was a Publisher’s Weekly ‘Annual Pick’ of 2014.
  The book has 120 of the photos and 7,000 words of captions by the artist. (See and buy the book at The Book Depository here, or a signed copy with an archival-quality miniprint included here at Photo Museum Ireland.)  Read an excellent review here at the Irish Times.

His 1980’s photo-collage works in series like ‘Newry Gagarin..’ and ‘Londonewry..’  based on those documentary photographs mixed with tourist, toy packaging, religious and fantasy material were at different times highly praised and widely published, and at other times considered ‘controversial’ and heavily censored.
Hillen has been described as “the most censored artist to come out of Britain or Ireland since Joyce” (Irish Times).
Irish Times Chief Critic Fintan O’Toole wrote that they “remain the best expression of what it felt like to be in Northern Ireland during the Troubles…”
One collage features as frontispiece to the Imperial War Museum’s recent book ‘Art from Contemporary Conflict’.
Read more at the British Council site here: ‘History Through The Lens’ 

The gently post-apocalyptic and visionary ‘IRELANTIS’ series begun after he moved back to Ireland from London in the early ’90s, were launched with an opening speech by Seamus Heaney and published as a now-rare book in 1999 with an introduction by Fintan O’Toole, who wrote about them again in 2011 here. Mostly based on the already-hyperreal postcards of John Hinde they have themselves since become part of the Irish cultural landscape, featuring on over 40 book and magazine covers; as ‘Figure 2’ in the recent ‘Photography and Ireland’; on the cover of the recent definitive ‘Art in Ireland since 1910’; and the subject of academic interest in cultural, sociological and other studies.
Read ‘The Nation of IRELANTIS: Ireland as Elsewhere’ by Jennifer Way at the Journal of European Popular Culture.
Read more at the British Journal of Photography site; ‘The Wonderful World of Sean Hillen’,

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