My face or yours

Exhibition of beautiful portraits from around the world by Irish photographer Allen Kiely


Travel broadens the mind and also, for photographer Allen Kiely, the artist’s pallet. Kiely’s latest exhibition, Close Up, comprises beautiful portraits from his travels in Africa, India, Asia and Europe.

The portraits tell a story of cultural differences but also the similarities: an impressively bearded street vendor in Shibuya, Japan; boys washing at Mumbai’s famous Dhobi Ghats; the porcelain faces and shy glance of geishas in Kyoto; this smiling north Vietnamese seamstress, her glasses held together with safety pins and string.

Kiely’s extensive travels are a collection of memories, he says, made of up his subjects’ faces and the interaction with them before taking their photo. These shots contrast with a brash, high-colour look at celebrity, with images of singers Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine) and Lisa Hannigan.
Close Up
, by Allen Kiely, runs at Ranelagh Arts Centre until August 9th,

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