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Launch: Connemara & Aran by Walter Pfeiffer
Launch: Connemara and Aran
by Walter Pfeiffer
Music, images and readings to launch the photography book Connemara & Aran by Walter Pfeiffer (Artisan House 2017) and to celebrate Walter Pfeiffer (1943 – 2017). “My Aran and Connemara are not grey; they are supremely light-filled, recklessly hued and splendidly untamed” – Walter Pfeiffer, Introduction to Connemara & Aran.
Connemara & Aran, a visual chronicle of landscapes and seascapes by photographer Walter Pfeiffer, was to be launched joyously at this year’s Clifden Arts Festival. Sadly Walter died unexpectedly on 21st April 2017 – he was not to see his much-anticipated book published by Artisan House, Connemara.
Vincent Murphy of Artisan House, a close friend of Walter, said: “Walter was very excited by this particular title Connemara & Aran. It was a visit to Aran in 1964, when he was only 20 years, that proved life-changing. So enchanted was he by the landscape, the light, the people, that he left his native Germany and moved to live in Ireland the following year and lived here ever since.”
The 176-page book contains images taken by Walter over a number of years as well as poems from Eva Bourke, Moya Cannon, Michael Coady, Eamon Grennan, Josie Guairim, Joan McBreen, Máire Áine Ní Dhiréain and Mary O’Malley, contemporary poets who are similarly familiar with and fascinated by the west coast of Ireland. The launch of the book is doubly bitter-sweet as Josie Guairim also died unexpectedly in March 2017. The foreword is by archaeologist Michael Gibbons whose deep knowledge and familiarity with the area greatly enhances the book. In addition to the paperback edition is a limited special hardback edition which includes a CD with each poet reading their own word, a recorded introduction by Walter and music by harpist and composer, Kathleen Loughnane.
As Irish Times journalist, Peter Murtagh, wrote in his obituary article on Walter:
“Walter Pfeiffer was a photographer whose standards of excellence and attention to detail was applied with equal diligence to a single clove of garlic resting on a plate as to the epic landscapes of Connemara and Wicklow.”