August 4, 2003, (near) Tikrit, Iraq
© Geert van Kesteren
Courtesy the artist

Paul Seawright

Exhibition: The Sublime Image of Destruction

Paul Seawright is a photographer who has drawn heavily on his Northern Irish background to produce searching photographic investigations of aspects of its fraught political terrain, as in his Orange Order and Police Force series from the early 1990s. In his recent work, Seawright has moved away from an overtly Irish context, focusing on what he has termed a 'generic malevolent landscape' represented by the uninhabited spaces at the edge of cities and forests throughout Europe. These images take the viewer from bright, bleached vacant lots to corners of almost complete darkness, lit only by the dim, ambient light of street lamps, where the city merges with the forest. Seawright has exhibited in many venues throughout Europe and North and South America including the the Tate, London, the Nederlands Foto Instituut, Rotterdam and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo. His solo exhibitions include shows at the Photographers' Gallery, London, the Imperial War Museum, London, Milton Keynes Gallery and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.

Awards include the prestigious Ville de Paris Artist Award in 1999 and the Irish Museum of Modern Art/Glen Dimplex Prize in 1997. He is represented in the collections of the Tate, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the British Council, the Imperial War Museum, London, the Art Institute of Chicago and the International Center of Photography, New York among others and in numerous private collections.