Seven ages

From the Summer 2017 edition

In his seventieth year, John Minihan is still seeking the transient moment of creation, writes Fiona Kearney, as she reflects on his recent portfolio

In 2016, University College Cork acquired the John Minihan Photography Collection securing an archive which comprises more than 30,000 original photographic negatives and prints, as well as supplementary publicity material and ephemera produced using Minihan’s images which the photographer had carefully retained over the course of his career. The UCC acquisition is a recognition of Minihan’s extraordinary contribution to Irish art in terms of his own photographic practice, as well as forming a compelling record of literary and cultural life from the latter half of the 20th century. In a career that spans fifty years, and as the youngest staff photographer with the Evening Standard in 1967, some of us might consider this a perfect moment to retire. Not Minihan.

An exhibition in November 2016 at the United Arts Club in Dublin, and a recent RTÉ documentary celebrated the active vocation of this photographer who, safe in the knowledge that his legacy is preserved, is still seeking adventures with his camera, continuing to explore the potent presence of the individual artist. Minihan is perhaps best known for his photographs of the artist Samuel Beckett, and these remarkable works remain memorable despite their….

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