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While bread and the craft of making it are nearly as old as civilisation itself, Pain au levain was the first leavened bread, probably discovered in Egypt six thousand years ago. O’Brien’s interest in bread, its elemental properties, the magical process that takes place in its making, its centrality in human daily life across race and culture and religion, its familial, social and cultural importance, and its rich symbolism, spans some twenty years.
With Bread has three key elements. The first is a series of photographs taken in four bakeries in Ireland: McCloskey’s Bakery, Drogheda; Barron’s Bakery, Waterford; the Bretzel Bakery, and Il Valentino Bakery, both in Dublin. To the viewer, the images cannot be obviously linked with any particular bakery. Each is named after a female artist, because, O’Brien says, “the image suggests something to me about the image suggests something to me about their work”.
Published by Highlanes Gallery
300 x 220 mm