-Second World War phenomenon (Hamilton, 1999). The
development of pub sessions owed much to the perceived revival in Irish traditional music, facilitated by two factors in particular: the formation of CCE in
1951 as a significant cultural organisation that sought to promote Irishculture,
and the work of composer Seán Ó Riada, who reshaped the sounds and contexts for Irish traditional music in the 1950s and 1960s. As O’Shea notes:
The confluence of economic growth with this mid-twentieth-century
revival allowed an emerging subculture of musicians simultaneously to
with the places we inhabit.With this in mind, we have divided this collection into
three broad sections on cartography and geography, writing and narrative, and
place and Irishculture. These categories encompass several viewpoints through
which a reader can examine Robinson’s critical, creative and cultural output in
relation to many other disciplines and specific geographical spaces.
The esteemed landscape writer and critic from the UK, Robert Macfarlane,
begins the conversation of this collection in the Foreword by explaining
resemblances to documentary film-making.3
At this stage it seems necessary to briefly recognise Collins’s sustained documentary film-making practice, which continues to focus on subjects (predominantly people and places) in Ireland. Collins has been making perceptive
documentaries in Ireland for over two decades. A strong case could be made that
he is currently Ireland’s most influential documentary film-maker because his
work concentrates primarily on the relationship between Irishculture and landscapes. Indeed, various commentators have categorised his work
100 years of Ireland in National Geographic magazine
Patrick J. Duffy
with an American divorcée.
Traditional Irish storyteller.
Arensberg, C. M. and Kimball, S. T. (1940) Family and Community in Ireland.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
100 years of Ireland in National Geographic
Bell, D. (1995) ‘Picturing the landscape: Die grune insel: tourist images of Ireland’,
European Journal of Communication 10, 1: 41–62.
Brett, D. (1996) The Construction of Heritage. Cork: Cork University Press.
Gibbons, L. (1996) Transformations in IrishCulture. Cork: Cork University Press.
Kirby, P., Gibbons, L. and Cronin, M. (2002
The deep mapping projects of Tim Robinson’s art and writings, 1969–72
Ireland today. While there are rhetorical gestures toward the concept of a ‘sense
of place’ as being critically important to Irishculture in geographical and literary
writings on Ireland (with examples of the role of the Gaelic Athletic Association
often abounding in such analyses), the question as to the cultivation and care of the
Irish landscape is one that is less easily posed, let alone answered.
When one examines the intellectual history and conceptual arc of the Drever/
Robinson corpus of images, maps and texts as a whole, a number of key issues
begin to emerge
Postcolonialism and ecology in the work of Tim Robinson
Celtic Tiger (London: Faber and Faber, 2009); and Peadar Kirby, The Celtic Tiger
in Collapse: Explaining the Weaknesses of the Irish Model (Basingstoke: Palgrave/
50 Robinson, Listening, 110.
51 Robinson writes about his role in a campaign to prevent the construction of an airstrip across the archaeologically significant site at Roundstone Bog in My Time in
Space (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2001).
52 Robinson, ‘A Land without Shortcuts’, 41.
53 On speed and Irishculture, see Michael Cronin, ‘Inside Out: Time and Place
in Global Ireland’, in Eamon
Robert Ballagh, who introduced Pop art to Ireland,
was forced to insist:
I never had access to the culture that many people think is the Irishculture, the rural
Gaelic tradition. I can’t paint Connemara fishermen … My experience of Ireland is
an urban, Dublin one and I paint that. It would be dishonest of me to paint anything
else. But being Dublin is also being Irish.16
For Robinson, the pull of the West initially was simply that it was not London.
Nonetheless, his response to it was to open up wide-ranging alternatives to older
representations of the area.
Matrixial gazing in Tim Robinson’s walk-art-text practice
instances of feminising the land, especially the western seaboard, in Irishculture. For instance, Jim Sheridan’s film Into the West (1992) opens and closes
with a visually striking scene of a white horse running across a shoreline near
Roundstone with the partial image of a foetus discernible in the sonography
of the moon’s reflection in the wake of the sea, and it constructs the meeting of wave and earth as a maternal space, which forms the deep background
against which the father–son relationship that drives the plot of the film can
be dramatised. In the film’s plot it