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The brutalisation of civil society in Belfast during decades of political unrest is the focus of much of Paul Seawright’s photographic work. The thoughtful and disquieting images which he produces probe beyond stereotypical images of conflict, in a way that is exploratory rather than merely documentary. The camera is used as an investigative tool rather than one to describe and record an event.
The cages in ‘Cage I’ and ‘Cage II’ act as defence agents but also serve to isolate those they are designed to protect. Seawright is deeply conscious of the negative effects of actions that are intended to be positive. he is also keenly aware of the ambiguity of the photographic image and the ways in which it can be used.

MediumC- Type photograph on aluminuim
Dimensions187.5 x 150.5 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1997
Item NumberIMMA.495
Not on view
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Image Caption
Paul Seawright, Cage II, 1997, C- Type photograph on aluminuim, 187.5 x 150.5 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1997

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Paul Seawright b.1965

Northern Irish artist Paul Seawright (born 1965) studied at the University of Ulster and Surrey College of Art and Design. In his photographic work Seawright portrays societies experiencing political conflict. From Afghanistan to his native Belfast, the thoughtful and disquieting images which he produces probe beyond stereotypical depictions of war. Seawright was awarded the IMMA/Glen Dimplex Artists Award in 1997. His work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and the US, including a solo exhibition of large scale photographs of Afghanistan, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, at IMMA in 2003.
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To ensure the health and safety of the public, IMMA’s galleries will be closed from the evening of Friday 18 September until Saturday 10 October 2020. The grounds of IMMA and the RHK will remain open. Thank you for your cooperation.

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