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Willie Doherty, b.1959

The Walls1987

‘The Walls’ offers us a panoramic view of the nationalist housing estates of Derry’s Bogside taken from immediately inside the city’s historic walls. The top tier of a three-tier inscription overlaying the photograph reads ALWAYS / WITHOUT in green lettering, a colour emblematic of Nationalism; while at the bottom, in blue lettering traditionally connoting Unionism, are the words WITHIN / FOREVER. To the Nationalist population the Derry city walls signify exclusion and deprivation (both meanings of the preposition ‘WITHOUT’); whereas to the Unionist population they signify security and the preservation of a long established-order. The same image is thus viewed very differently in Northern Ireland’s riven communities.

MediumBlack and white photograph with text mounted on masonite
Dimensions Unframed, 61 x 152.5 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Donation, the Artist, 2004
EditionEdition unique
Item NumberIMMA.1766
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Willie Doherty, The Walls, 1987, Black and white photograph with text mounted on masonite, Unframed, 61 x 152.5 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Donation, the Artist, 2004

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

About the Artist

Willie Doherty b.1959

Willie Doherty was born in Derry, Northern Ireland. Basing much of his work around Derry he uses photography, video and sound installations to explore the fallibility of human memory and recollection. Doherty studied at the University of Ulster, Belfast, and began exhibiting internationally in the early 1980s. Doherty was nominated for the Turner Prize, in 1994 and 2003 and represented Ireland in the Venice Biennale in 1993, 2005 and 2007. His film Secretion was shown at IMMA in 2013.

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