HEANEY, SEAMUS (b. 1939, Irish poet)
PORTRAIT BY CHRISTOPHER BARKER (b. 1943), photograph, silver print, seated and leaning on a tree, his left arm resting on his raised left knee, signed by the photographer on the verso, framed and glazed, size of image 16 ½ x 12 ¾ inches (42 x 32 cm), overall size 22 ½ x 18 ½ inches (57 x 47 cm), 1986 (printed later)
This fine portrait of Seamus Heaney was taken for and used in Christopher Barker's Portraits of Poets, 1986. It was taken at Bracknell College where Seamus Heaney was doing a reading. Christopher Barker writes: 'Seamus was very affable and strolled out in the grounds with me to pick a spot illustrating the 'wood-kerne...taking protective colouring from bowl and bark' as from the poem I had chosen [to accompany the portrait]. To get as much detail as possible I set up a huge studio flash gun driven by a generator and the shoot went well. When I later showed him the pictures he said he had regretted very much doing the shoot in 'too shiny shoes, so entirely inappropriate for a wood-kerne.'
PROVENANCE: Christopher Barker.