Art Exhibition

Pavee Song – Pavee Culture: Exhibition of Photography “The Travellers” by Donovan Wylie

A Season of Films, Music and Photography, paying Tribute to the Culture and Song Tradition of the Irish Gypsy and Travelling Community.

For a short period only – Thursday Nov 16th – Saturday Nov 25th

The season ‘PAVEE SONG _ PAVEE CULTURE‘ will comprise of

🗓Thu 16 November – EXHIBITION of Photography opens “The Travellers by Donovan Wylie”

🗓Fri 17 November – FILM: “Dark Horse On The Wind”, a homage to the life and songs of the traditional ballad singer, song-writer and Travellers Rights Campaigner, Liam Weldon (1933–1995)

🗓Sat 18 November – FILMS (A DOUBLE BILL) “Songs Of The Open Road”, a focus on the life of the award-winning Irish Traveller, Traditional Singer and Song Collector, Thomas McCarthy, (winner of the 2019 Gradam Ceoil Award’ – Ireland’s most prestigious award for Irish song & traditional music): Followed by Sé Merry Doyle’s film “Traveller Tales” winner of the prestigious “2019 Irish Garda Award”.

🗓Sun 19 November – A LIVE CONCERT with the award-winning Irish Traveller, Traditional Singer and Song Collector, Thomas McCarthy. (Winner of the Gradam Ceoil Award 2022, the most prestigious award for Irish traditional song and music in Ireland)

Thu 30 November - Wed 17 January 2024

Running Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm; Sat 9.30am - 2.30pm

Tickets: FREE

Belfast born Donovan Wylie’s interest in photography started at the age of 11. He left school in 1987 and a year later, at the age of just 17, he’d already had exhibitions in Belfast, Dublin, New York and in London, where his collection of photographs ‘The Travellers’ was shown as part of the renowned Irish Arts Festival “A Sense of Ireland 1988”.

Photograph of The Irish Traveller Singer – Busker – “Pecker Dunne” by Donovan Wylie.

Donovan captured these photographs of “The Travellers” at a Gypsy-sites across Ireland, in Belfast, Dublin, Dundalk, Kerry and Cork. Donovan took the pictures on a very old second-hand twin-lens reflex camera, on which, as Donovan said “pressing the shutter was an uncertain business; sometimes it would work, sometimes it would open and close, only how and when it felt like it”.  At the time of the exhibition in London Donovan said “The Travellers lead a very different lifestyle, but they are an important part of Ireland’s culture. With the help of my exhibition maybe people will realise this fact”.

Following his London exhibition of “The Travellers”, Donovan was commissioned by  the publisher Seker and Warburg to produce the book ‘32 Counties’, after which many more book publications and exhibitions followed. 

This showing of “The Travellers” as part of The Irish Cultural Centre’s  Season, “Pavee Song, Parvee Culture” gives you a very rare glimpse of Wylie’s very early works, captured at the age of just 17. Since then, throughout the past three decades, Donovan fast became a world  leading photographer and one of the finest photographers of his generation. 

 In 1992 Wylie was invited to become a nominee of the prestigious international Magnum Photos and in 1998 he became a full member. Much of his work, often described as ‘Archaeologies’, has stemmed primarily to date from the political and social landscape of Northern Ireland. His book The Maze was published to international acclaim in 2004, as was British Watchtowers in 2007. In 2001 he won a BAFTA for his film The Train, and he has had solo exhibitions at the Photographers’ Gallery, London, PhotoEspana, Madrid, and the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television, Bradford, England. He has participated in numerous group shows held at, among other venues, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. His work from Afghanistan was published by Steidl in 2012 and in 2013 the Imperial War Museum mounted a major exhibition of his work on contemporary conflict. 

To find out more about Donovan Wylie go to  

The Travellers” Thursday November 16th – Saturday November 25th Monday to Saturday from 9.30am – 5.30pm daily.