Dublin’s fair city has been the lifeblood for plenty of Irish artists: James Joyce’s Ulysses brought the cobbled alleys to life and the famed Grafton Street is the unofficial home for the city’s rag-tag street performers. Irish photographer Eamonn Doyle’s debut photobook I revitalised the genre of street photography, capturing the un-posed, elderly characters of his native city. Now, his new book ON takes one step further onto the uneven, lively roads.
In a black and white photoseries, Doyle takes on the guerrilla portrait, photographing the weary unknowns on the streets. His home town is a conscious motif throughout his work, as he explains: “I think the deeper you dig on your own doorstep, the less the location becomes an issue for you, which can allow you to become more universal.”
Through the various, anonymous portraits in the book, Dublin city exposes itself. “I’m not sure there’s a theme as such apart from Dublin itself,” he continues. “The city opens out and reveals itself a lot more in this book.” Like his previous book, the photographs are taken on Parnell and O’Connell Street, streets characterised by the rebellions and acts of resistance centred on the government.
Each portrait is in motion: the figures walk with purpose, turn away or stare and challenge the lens that captures them. The low angle, staring up at the figures, places them against the architectural backdrop of Dublin, making the photographic gaze stark and intense. We question the lives behind the looming faces, but Doyle refuses to give us answers, only fleetingly immortalised moments in time.
ON is available now. Check out more of Doyle’s work here