Mercier Press press release,
Only in Ireland will you come across events where a goat can be crowned king, where “straw boys” roam the streets freely, where men sip whiskey on horseback or where Barak Obama can be found hanging out with a busker in Co. Kerry.
These are just some of the things encountered by photographer John Hall on his many travels around the various fairs, festivals and rallies and the images have now been published by Mercier Press in a delightful book entitled “Fair Faces, Images From A Disappearing Ireland”.
His beautifully captured black & white images, shot in a candid street photography style, celebrate the diversity of the people he encountered.
They show, not just a people but a way of life that could well disappear over the coming decades. These are a proud race, in tune with the land and the vagaries of the weather and its effect on their livestock and way of life.
His many subjects, young and old, carry on the traditions of their fathers and grandfathers before them.
The broad subject matter covers everything from horse fairs, local steam rallies, St. Patricks Day parades & fleadh cheoils to the St. Stephen’s Day festivities in Carrigaline, the Cork Eucharistic Procession and the annual Roberts Cove vintage fair.
It is a valuable photographic record of a uniquely Irish way of life that is rapidly being swallowed up by the trappings of modern living.
It awakens nostalgia and takes the viewer back to simpler times before mobile phones and modern technology.
If you remember the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, go take a look for a nostalgic trip down memory lane!
You might even be pleasantly surprised to see yourself in one of the 250 plus photographs in the book.
“Fair Faces: Images From A Disappearing Ireland” is available in all good bookshops and an exhibition of 25 images from the book is running at Cork Airport until November 17th.