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Mincéirs.

Photographs by Joseph-Philippe Bévillard. Essay by Peggy Sue Amison.
Skeleton Key Press, 2021. 144 pp., 94 color illustrations, 11½x8½".



Publisher's Description

Due to popular demand, we have now sold out of our allotted copies of Mincéirs. If you have already placed an order as of 5/28/21, you will receive your book.

Upon Joseph-Philippe Bévillard’s move from the US to Ireland at the beginning of the new millennium, he hailed a taxi ride from Shannon Airport. Just minutes into the ride, he caught his first glimpse into the world of Irish Travellers (also known as Mincéirs). Witnessing their effervescent spirit and nomadic lifestyle captivated Bévillard, and ignited something personal in him. A seed was planted that would, many years and many friendships later, change his course and life as an artist, and lead to his most defining and celebrated body of work, presented here, for the first time, in book form.

In the tradition of the great documentary photographers that he admires, Bévillard has the knack of rendering chaotic real-life situations into magnificently composed images. At other times, in striking portraits, the photographer’s lens is met with the honest and powerful gaze of his subject(s). The photographs are most often saturated in bright colors that provide an engaging contrast to the frequently grey Irish skies or the often drab, makeshift backdrops in various halting sites and social housing estates. Yet beyond their photographic qualities, each of the 90 fluently sequenced plates in Mincéirs gives “clarity to this very unique part of Irish Heritage and shines a light of respect on a group of people who continue to fight for recognition and visibility,” as writer Peggy Sue Amison states in her insightful essay presented in Mincéirs. Bévillard documents everyday life as well as weddings, funerals, Catholic ceremonies, and holidays. In doing so, a universal chord is also struck, with the photographs addressing larger themes that are common to the human experience: the wonder and struggles of childhood, the nature of play, coming of age, gender roles, family, and the role of animals in relationship to humans. In the end, it is Bévillard’s compassionate nature and perceptive eye that renders a poignant, genuine, and humanistic debut monograph.


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