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Obit: Eammon O Doherty - artist, sculptor

GUEST,John Moulden 04 Aug 11 - 11:04 AM
GUEST,Allen Feldman 04 Aug 11 - 02:23 PM
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Subject: Obit: Eammon O Doherty - artist, sculptor
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:04 AM

The death has been announced, in Gorey Co Wexford, of Eamonn O Doherty (b. Derry 1939), artist, sculptor and lecturer in architecture. He was best known in traditional music circles for the remarkable lithographs, drawings and photographs that adorn the pages of his and Allen Feldman's The Northern Fiddler (1979) - fuller obits will be published in Irish Newpapers tomorrow.

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Subject: RE: Obit: Eammon O Doherty - artist, sculptor
From: GUEST,Allen Feldman
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:23 PM

Eamonn O'Doherty, among many other artistic, music-related and educational accomplishments, made a unique contribution to the visual ethnography and history of Irish traditional music. He pioneered new visual and historical territory in his photographs and lithographs for the Northern Fiddler book and well beyond this particular project. His images were popularly used by numerous publications and cds concerning Irish music. He was not just an "illustrator" for the Northern Fiddler project but his deep knowledge, empathy, singing, flute and whistle playing and gra contributed mightily to the special atmospherics of these sessions that can be sensed in his photos and drawings, in their sheer electrical vivacity--- he could draw the sound of the music and the smell of the turf fires. Of note was his acute eye for local landscape and architecture. When visiting musicians in Donegal and Tyrone he always drew and gifted portraits of family members and drawings of their farms and homes. He was acutely conscious of how colonialism had damaged visual culture in Ireland and he wanted to reclaim the beauty and skills of architecture, thatching, cultivated fields and stone-work for those who lived in these settings through his image-work. His images eventually became a living archive for many people in Donegal. In Teelin, Donegal, in Dermot Byrne's pub, his photographs hang on the wall as a collective memory space for that community who would have had little or no visual record of these musicians without Eamonn's intercession. Less well known was his intimate involvement in the development of the seminal group Sweeney's Men as both close friend of Andy Irvine, Joe Dolan and Johnny Moynihan and as road manager. He was an inspiring teacher for generations of students at the Bolton Street School of Architecture and considered a major creator of public sculpture in Ireland and Europe. He should be well waked; he will be sorely missed.

Allen Feldman
New York University

New York University.

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