Photographs of Singers by Ken Garland, 1990s


Ken Garland, of the London design company Ken Garland & Associates, has been active since the 1950s as a graphic designer, the art editor of Design magazine, a writer and lecturer on design, and a photographer with many exhibitions to his name.

In 1990 he began photographing Irish traditional singers and singers from elsewhere, and their audiences, annually at Ulster singing festivals in Derry City; Slieve Gullion, Co Armagh; and Inishowen and Fahan, Co Donegal. This work culminated in ‘The Singing’, a 1999 exhibition with catalogue of 70 sympathetic and revealing portraits of traditional singers, which was shown at these festivals. The exhibition was organised by the Slieve Gullion Festival of Traditional Singing in conjunction with the Tí Chulainn Centre in Mallaghbawn, Co Armagh, with the aid of funding from the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust.

In 2008 Ken Garland generously donated the entire exhibition to the Irish Traditional Music Archive for public access. The following photographs are a selection of the portraits from ‘The Singing’, listed with the counties in which they were taken and their dates.

With thanks to Ken Garland and the subjects of his photographs. ITMA always welcomes such donations or the opportunity to copy such materials.

NC, 1 December 2008

Photographs of Singers by Ken Garland, 1990s