Doyle’s Odyssey

Eamonn Doyle’s portraits of Dubliners are unposed, untroubled by vanity and full of momentum, writes Stephanie McBride 

In spring 2014 on O’Connell Street in Dublin, passersby were captivated by an outdoor installation of large-scale photographs of people. Women in floral headscarves absorbed on an errand; others in crocheted woollen hats pausing for a moment; an old man in a moss-green knitted cap; a more urbane figure in a brown trilby; and a man bracing himself against the world and creating a pleasing contour with road markings (Figs 2, 3 & 4).

This was Eamonn Doyle’s first collection, titled ‘i’, 2014, and it demonstrated his acute observation of the play of curves and lines, and his considered choice of angle and perspective to avoid revealing any faces. This is a city’s people caught in their workaday routines, in studies that are intimate yet distanced and never put on. They are unposed, unsuspecting and untroubled by vanity. The collection captures the momentum of Doyle’s own stomping ground too; he lived nearby for many years and his family has business roots in the area.

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