Eamonn Doyle: Made in Dublin (Dublin Trilogy)

Image of Eamonn Doyle: Made in Dublin (Dublin Trilogy)
Release Date: 
April 23, 2019
Thames & Hudson
Reviewed by: 

“If collecting ‘street photography’ is your passion, this book will become a cornerstone of your collection and will be the measure of all other works you own.”

Eamonn Doyle’s stunning photo essay Made in Dublin is hard to define, and for sure, not your typical book of street photography. In fact, this book is sure to change the conversation about street photography.

Most of the photographs in the book were shot within a half-mile of Doyle’s front door in north Dublin. It is a book of great respect for neighbors and the rapidly shifting life of a city he clearly loves.

His pictures breathe the soul of his street. There is a fine dignity to the people and streets in the photographs Doyle has created. Residents, both young and old, walk with purpose as they go about the business of their day. Many of the pictures are close-ups of stooped shoulders and bowed heads to honor the older people who live around him.

There is something unexpected about the way he has photographed his older neighbors as they go about in polished shoes and Sunday coats. In Doyle’s photos, they appear to be carrying past dreams like sacks of groceries back to their homes at the end of the day as they move through the changing streets of a city they once knew, have always lived in, and, in their own ways, keep anchored in the dressed up easy moving purposeful life that was the past. 

Respect is the word that best sums up Doyle’s approach to all of his subjects. There is no judgment here, only a chance for us to look deeply into the lives of decent people who live on this street.

These are snapshots, caught moments of a life in a changing vital city, where young and old, black, Asian, and Caucasian live in close quarters with these graceful older Dubliners and give each other the space they need to move and breathe.

The book is arranged in three sections, reflecting the trilogy of books previously self-published by Doyle: i, ON, and End. The first and last sections i and End are printed in color, while the middle, ON, is presented in black and white.

It is important to note that Doyle is not only a photographer, but a music producer as well and founded the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival (DEAF) along with the record labels D1 Recordings and Dead Elvis.

Made in Dublin is a rich collection of photographs, made all the richer because of the project’s combined collaboration with author Kevin Barry, artist and designer Niall Sweeney, and journalist and photography critic Sean O’Hagan who wrote the introduction.

Throughout the three sections of the book the texts by prize-winning author Kevin Barry ground the pictures and enrich Doyle’s visual montage. Barry gives voice to the otherwise silent participants in Doyle’s Dublin.

The beauty of Made in Dublin is enhanced throughout by the artwork created by Doyle’s friend, Niall Sweeney. Sweeney has worked with Doyle since the 1990s, during the early years of the DEAF. Sweeney’s bold use of saturated swaths of orange and yellow shout vitality throughout the text and the opening pages of the various sections. Sweeney’s book design and drawings bring another kind of visual voice to the people on Doyle’s street.

If collecting “street photography” is your passion, this book will become a cornerstone of your collection and will be the measure of all other works you own.