Stephen Wilson

“Irish Presbyterians Number 5 Rev. Cyril Scott”


Hans-Georg Gadamer argued that people have a “Historically effected consciousness.” (Wirkungsgeschichtliches Bewußtsein) and that they are embedded in the particular history and culture that shaped them. So the Presbyterians of Northern Ireland have historically effected the consciousness of the culture that has shaped them. The Loyalist Protestant people of Northern Ireland are commonly represented in photographs as marching Orangemen and rioting youths. Because these images are so strong, easily understood and commonly available it has traditionally been difficult to represent the Unionist Protestant people in photographs. As part of a larger series taking three years to complete, “Irish Presbyterians Number 5” is not only a portrait of Rev. Cyril Scott from County Tyrone, but an opportunity to consider how our own consciousness has been historically effected. Stephen Wilson is an editorial photographer based in Belfast Northern Ireland with 19 years experience covering events for national and international publication.

Selected by Anne Lyden, Associate Curator of Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum.