Thro’ The Emerald Lens – A Review

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thro the emerald lens

An exhibition of live music photography from Ireland’s rock and metal circuit.

The photographs were more recent than what I had gathered from the image used in the poster of the exhibition. It was my expectation that the exhibition would feature photographs from the time of Thin Lizzy (as Phil Lynott’s image graced the poster image), to the present day. I read the information on the brown cards tags which dangled from the photographs framed in black and read the years 2015, 2016, 2014… No such throwbacks to Philo’s time. And where was Philo? And then I saw him. Well, sort of. I read the tag and was surprised to discover that this photograph was in fact taken of a tribute act. A mighty channelling of Lynott no doubt, not to mention a quality photograph from curator and photographer Fi Killeen of Blueprint Photography, but perhaps just a little misleading for use of promoting a photo exhibition primarily comprised of metal gigs from the past few years. But not to worry; this isn’t your typical photography exhibition. First of all, we’re not talking a stiff gallery exhibition here; this is Abner Brown’s; a rock’n’roll barber-cum-venue. Before Blueprint Photography’s exhibition ever graced the walls of Abner’s, it already had a solid rock aesthetic populated by their own icons, the windows inhabited by kitsch characters and instruments and records.

The collection of photos was a great overview of recent Dublin rock and metal gigs. It’s obvious that the photographers are talented and disciplined performance photographers. Steve Dempsey’s photograph of The Behemoth playing in Finland blew my socks off; powerful stuff.  Other acts featured included Mourning Beloveth, Primordial, WIFE, Doro, Down, Amon Amarth, Sick of It All, Chelsea Wolfe, Combichrist, Vader, Mass Extinction and Mael Mordha.

thro the emerald lens

It might have been nice to see a few photographs of fans rather than bands, but that’s just what I think of when I think of ‘scenes’. There were however some particularly well-captured moments of audience interaction. Specifically, one there was one photo of a frontman sharing the mic with a front-row fan which I could ‘hear’ in the same way that one ‘hears’ the scream in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. The exhibition is an excellent showcase of photographic chops from Fiona KilleenSteve DempseyKen ColemanDamien James O’FarrellDani KammlerShane J Horan, and Bella Thomas.

Photography by Fiona Killeen.

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