When I first stumbled across the photographs of Bobbie Hanvey, I thought I had found an undiscovered master – perhaps another sort of Vivian Maier. My heart skipped a beat. But when I dug a little deeper I realized that he was quite well known in Northern Ireland, where he has been documenting the culture in photos and audio for more than 35 years. Only recently however, has his work become available to a wider audience.
Bringing Bobbie’s photographs to America is part of the mission of his son, Steafán Hanvey, a singer/songwriter on tour with a new album, called ‘Nuclear Family’, as well as a multimedia presentation showcasing original music alongside his father’s work.
When I recently talked with him, Bobbie Hanvey was quick to point out that, “I’m not an artist,” although the mind-boggling scope of his archive says otherwise.
Since 1977 he’s recorded over 1,000 interviews for his radio program “Ramblin’ Man”, which airs on Downtown Radio. And Boston College Libraries recently acquired more than 75,000 of his photographs, which capture the political and cultural life of Northern Ireland since the 1970s.
Like Father, Like Son: Creating Art In Times Of Troubles
Photo Credit: The Bobbie Hanvey Photographic Archives, John J. Burns Library, Boston College, Courtesy of the Trustees of Boston College and Peter Muhly/AFP
My co-worker Coburn Dukehart made this awesome piece on Friday complete with video, radio, two photo slideshows and text. It’s a great story and works really well as an entire package. Spend some time with the whole piece this Father’s Day!