John Hinde – Wish You Were Here

Written by Gavin Friday for The Irish Times supplement “The Moderns”, on the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “The Moderns: The arts in Ireland from the 1900s to the 1970s

“Having recently come across a book of photographs of John Hinde’s Ireland from the 1960s and 1970s, I was totally taken aback that after all these years they had such a poignant effect on me…Was this the Ireland I grew up in? An O Connell Street in the 1960s looking like an exotic boulevard from a Technicolor Hitchcock movie? The images of Butlins so overtly lush with surreal detail, saturated colour and over decorated glamour that they would put David LaChapelle to shame. This was Ireland as an imaginary island, a place where the sun was always shining, as seen through the eyes of John Hinde, who in his genius meticulously and painstakingly staged, designed and produced these images. He didn’t create them for any aspirational purpose or as great art, but as postcards to be sold for a few pence to tourists and holidays makers. Andy Warhol eat your heart out! He was an innovator and outsider and his work is most definitely a touchstone for many-the extraordinary printmaker Tim Mara, the profound writings from the wonderful mind of Pat McCabe, the Pop Art of early Robert Ballagh and more recently, Sean Hillen’s magical ‘Irelantis’. In hindsight, as a teenager I wrongly discarded these postcards as stage Irish – it most definitely wasn’t the Ireland I grew up in, yet today, I love and embrace these photographs wholeheartedly. Ireland through the eyes of John Hinde…Wish you were here.”

John Hinde – Wikipedia


  1. Jimitits on February 19, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Often looking back we see a reailty in the illusion that had no meaning at that moment in time space, then if lucky as u were, keeping these great images u can see the magicK that was n still is there, now more a state of mind awareness that has gone by! Bow wow baby good stuff! John boy did a nice job!