Redhead portraits to go on display at Cork Airport

German photographer Jorg Koster to present his work from March 7th

Paul Scholes and Ginger Rogers may not have made it but there won't be any shortage of redheads at Cork Airport next month thanks to an unusual exhibition of portraits by Cork based fashion photographer, Jorg Koster.

Koster developed an interest in redheaded subjects five years ago after shooting Irish clothing products for German catalogues.

He became even more fascinated by the subject when a friend alerted him to the Irish Redhead Convention which takes place each August in Crosshaven, Co Cork.

Described as "a whacky celebration of everything about redhair", the Irish Redhead Convention is the brainchild of local redhead, Joleen Cronin and she welcomed Jorg on board, allowing him to set up a photo studio at the event where he began photographing hundreds of redheads.


Ms Cronin explained that red hair is the rarest of all hair colours with only 0.6 per cent of the global population having naturally red hues.

This means it could have taken Jorg decades to build up such a portfolio but the Irish Redhead Convention enabled him to fast-track the project where “every ginger tells a story”.

"Redheads were invited to get their portrait for free, while proceeds from the sales of prints were directly donated to the Irish Cancer Society, a contribution which has amounted to almost € 4,000 to the national charity to date," she explained.

“There is such diversity amongst redheads, yet together there is an amazingly strong sense of community.

“This project captures the essence of this concept so beautifully and viewers will be enthralled by the details in the differences and the personalities that shine through in each portrait.”

Cork Airport has come on board and invited Koster to exhibit a selection of his redhead portraits at the main hall areas from March 7th to 31st.

Head of Communications at Cork Airport, Kevin Cullinane said the airport was delighted to be supporting "such an exciting project and wonderful local tourism event which embodies Irish culture and people in a unique way and sure to prove popular during St Patrick's Day celebrations".

Originally from Munich but resident in Cork for many years, Koster said photographing redheads at the Irish Redhead Convention has been an unusual but rewarding experience and he is looking forward to the reaction to the exhibition of the project in such a public space.

“I am very excited to show a selection of my redhead portraits as large scale prints in a beautiful public space like Cork Airport. In a world of digital perfection, we in the advertising business spend a lot of time manipulating images and distorting reality to create “flawless” subjects,” he said.

“I wanted my portraits to be natural, spontaneous and pure. By using daylight and a grey backdrop I aimed to bring out the natural beauty of red hair and freckles, which for so long were considered to be a flaw. It has been a great experience to meet so many proud redheads and hear their stories.”

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times