Artwork Detail

Border Road
Irish, b. 1959
Cibachrome mounted on aluminum
48 x 72 "
Gift of Peter Norton, 2015
Photographer and video artist Willie Doherty captures his home city of Derry in Northern Ireland during and after the long clash, known as the Troubles, between Northern Irish separatists and those supporting alliance with Great Britain. In this image a road, blocked by imposing concrete barriers, stretches into the distance through a dark and wildly verdant landscape. In the 1990s British security forces installed roadblocks such as these to prohibit travel on unapproved border roads in Northern Ireland—an embodiment of British control over Irish citizens. A red car, barely visible off the side of the road, suggests the presence of clandestine persons. During this period violence between factions often took the form of car bombings or ambushes in isolated areas. A sense of such imminent violence pervades this foreboding image, due as much to what the overgrown landscape conceals as to what the photograph reveals. [Permanent collection label, 2016]