Famously, there are no surviving photographs of the Famine in Ireland. But this photograph from the Sean Sexton Collection, taken around 1858 by an unknown photographer, shows an unnamed Irish agricultural labourer who would have lived through the famine years. 


So how did Loughrey come to work on this unique photograph? "The original image was discovered by photograph collector Sean Sexton," he explains. "I got a chance to chat with Sean on the phone about his work and this image in particular some years ago. It went on to be central to a famine exhibition put together by historian Gerard McCarthy in the summer of 2017."

Loughrey was instantly inspired by the image. "When I saw it I immediately knew how it could look if realized in colour. I spent hours bringing this young man to life that same summer and in doing so it made him and an era somewhat more relatable and immediate."