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New Hibernia Review 7.4 (2003) 25
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The stark image on the cover of New Hibernia Review's last 2003 issue is one of Paul Seawright's photographs of the "nonspace"—the burned over "no-man's land"—lying in the boundaries between Catholic and Protestant communities in Belfast. After the 1997-98 cease-fire, Seawright began his Wall and Fire photographs. Titled Gate, this color print on 150 x 150 cm. sheet of aluminum is in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art. In Gate, Seawright offers the viewer a heat-scarred, welded emblem of "No Resistance" four-squarely framed so as to recall both a double-crossed target—"X marks the spot"—and the superimposed crosses on the Union Jack. Raised in a Protestant, working-class estate of Belfast, Seawright studied at the West Surrey College of Art and Design where Paul Graham introduced him to photography. His first solo exhibition was Sectarian Murder (1989, 1992-94), followed by The Orange Order (1991-93), Police Force (1995-97) and The Missing (1998). Now engaged in making similar photographs of the "Zone" or périphérique around Paris—the unvisited space around the European city—Seawright lectures at the University of Wales. His work is held in museum collections worldwide from Munich to San Francisco, from Ontario to Dublin, where he is represented by the Kerlin Gallery. For helping us bring Seawright's evocative and analytical art to the attention of our readers, we thank Catherine Marshall and Riann Coulter of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.