Dartmouth Events

Pilgrims, Parades, and Politics

These photographs were made over a period of five years showing three different facets of life and history on Ireland.

Monday, April 16, 2018
8:30am – 4:30pm
[email protected] office, 7 Lebanon St, Suite 107 in Hanover
Intended Audience(s): Public
Categories: Arts, Exhibitions

Pilgrims, Parades, and Politics

March 5 – April 26

Exhibit Reception:
Thursday, March 15
3:00 – 5:00 PM

These photographs were made over a period of five years, on a series of trips to Ireland and Northern Ireland on a variety of assignments. Seen together, they show three different facets of life and history on the island. In Belfast, in 1998 I saw street violence, as Protestants and Catholics clashed over whether Northern Island should remain under the control of the United Kingdom, or whether Ireland should be united and independent.
But religion also brings, in County Mayo, peace. There, on several different trips, I have seen pilgrims, some barefoot, climb Croagh Patrick, a steep, shale mountain, upholding a tradition dating back 5000 years. And in Galway, at Ireland's largest arts festival, I watched lively parades of a very different kind from the often violent march held every 12th of July in Ulster, to mark the Protestant victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.
There have been visible changes since my first visit in 1989. Peace has come to Ireland, for the most part, and for the time being. Pilgrims still climb Croagh Patrick, but now there is a visitors' center. The Galway International Arts Festival now tours the globe, and the Internet.
I feel lucky to have captured some moments from an earlier time, of an endlessly fascinating place.

Herb Swanson has been making photographs for over twenty-five years, and his work in journalism has taken him around the world. He got his start at a small newspaper in New Hampshire in 1981. Then came a stint in Alaska at the Anchorage Times, followed by more than a decade of free-lance and wire service assignments on three continents. Working for the Associated Press and Agence France Presse, he covered the elections and administrations of two presidents.

In the early days of digital photography Discovery.com hired him to create "Eye on the Road," featuring a daily digital photo from locations around the globe. He also twice participated in an internationally acclaimed photography exhibit, "Recontres Photographiques de Normandie," in Rouen, France.

His portfolio is wide-ranging, capturing moments in sports, the arts, and international events. Starting in 1989 he made the first of five trips to Ireland and Northern Ireland, where he documented political strife, an annual pilgrimage to the summit of Croagh Patrick, and cultural festivals.

Now living in Vermont, he continues to free-lance for newspapers and magazines including Smithsonian. Much of his commercial work is commissioned by hospitals and educational institutions.


Les Plages du Debarquement 1994-Participant in an internationally acclaimed photo exhibition along with 200 photojournalists.

The Iditarod, a photo reportage exhibited at the annual photo exhibit.

Pilgrims, Parades and Politics, an exhibit of photos from Ireland and Northern Ireland.

For more information, contact:
Laura Belback

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.