The Great Pyramids of Carlingford Lough © Seán Hillen

1994 - Seán Hillen begins his ‘Irelantis’ collage series

Seán Hillen’s highly influential Irelantis series takes a surreal and irreverent look at the mythologies of modern Ireland, mixing the familiar sights (and sites) of tourist postcards with the fantastical, to reveal the strange in the seemingly ordinary. The scalpel-and-glue collages, most no bigger than a postcard, are a bizarre hybrid of everyday postcard visuals interwoven with an illusory other world. 

Some of Hillen’s earliest photomontage work incorporates his own photographs of scenes related to the conflict in Northern Ireland, particularly his home town of Newry. In 2011 the National Library of Ireland Photographic Archive acquired some 700 of these early photographs as The Seán Hillen Collection. They were exhibited in 2012 at the Photographic Archive and 17,000 people attended.

Image copyright © Seán Hillen

See more of his work on his website here.

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