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No Country For Young Men, Martin Seeds
6pm on Thursday 7 December
Running 8-24 December
At The Library Project, 4 Temple Bar Street, D02 YK53.

The New Irish Works series 2023-24 continues at The Library Project in December with Martin Seeds’s practice.

‘No Country For Young Men’ looks back, via appropriation, at a series of found portraits in a Belfast school yearbook from 1965.  This was a time, a few years before “The Troubles” started, when political tensions in Northern Ireland were rising and trouble was brewing.  Seeds’ act of appropriation places these 1960s school portraits into our current moment, and from our historical vantage point asks us to consider how individual lives in Northern Ireland were affected by the backdrop of a violent conflict that would last for 30 years.

What will become of these boys, their youth and their fragile aspirations, as the shadow of history falls across their lives? It is not just the past that is hauntingly present in these humble portraits, but the looming, uncertain, tumultuous future.
—Sean O’Hagan

The found portraits are displayed as large prints in a tight arrangement. Each enlarged portrait exaggerates the source image half-tones, making the portraits less discernible as the viewer gets closer. Each school boy portrait is purposefully unnamed to ensure the portraits  are considered collectively, and to suggest  ‘The Troubles’ had an impact on all young lives.

About the Artist

Martin Seeds is an artist and educator. Drawing from his experience of growing up in Northern Ireland, his practice explores the conflicting experiences of identity, history and culture. Personal narratives, the relationship to place, politics, and conflict are themes that recur and interconnect in his work.

Find out more about his work at


About New Irish Works

The New Irish Works series brings contemporary photographic practices to The Library Project throughout 2023-24 with the support of Inspirational Arts and the Arts Council of Ireland. Alongside Martin Cregg, the artists selected for New Irish Works include Audrey Blue, Bryony Dunne, Jialin Long, Pauline Rowan, Martin Seeds, Cian Burke, Mark Duffy, Róisín White, and Shia Conlon.

New Irish Works is a triennial project run by PhotoIreland to represent and promote the growing diversity of contemporary photographic practices in Ireland. It enriches the Irish ecosystem with much needed new voices, new curatorial approaches, facilitate much deserved new opportunities, and invigorate the Irish photography scene.

This unique artist support programme is run since 2013 by PhotoIreland in 3-year cycles, generating a growing set of professional development opportunities for selected lens-based practitioners throughout the duration of each cycle. The call is open every three years to Irish and Ireland-based artists at any stage of their career.

Throughout its history, New Irish Works has exhibited and showcased nationally across Dublin, Cork, and Limerick, and internationally from Paris, Amsterdam to Madrid, Ukraine, and beyond; it published and distributed a book featuring 25 artists in 2013, and a collection of 20 solo publications in 2016. The publications have sold worldwide and are now part of many private and public collections, including key cultural organisations such as the Hasselblad Foundation Library and the Centre Culturel Irlandais.

Find out more about New Irish Works →

New Irish Works 2023, Martin Seeds