Belfast Exposed


5th Sep - 28th Sep

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4th Jul - 27th Jul


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25th Sep - 7th Oct

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21st May - 22nd May

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Alain Le Garsmeur Retrospective

Gallery 1

1st Jun 2023 to 22nd Jul 2023

About The Exhibition

We are excited to present a career-spanning retrospective of work from acclaimed photojournalist Alain Le Garsmeur, in partnership with Belfast Photo Festival 2023.

Le Garsmeur's work in Northern Ireland for The Times and Observer saw him capture both the dangerous and surreal nature of everyday life amidst the Troubles of the 1970s and 80s. Globally, he worked for both publications and a range of other outlets, producing stunning images focusing on the life of ordinary people in a changing world. Included in this retrospective are over 200 images taken in the USA, Canada, Belize, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, China, Hong Kong, both North and South Korea, Bhutan, Tibet, the island of Ireland, Scotland, England, Lisbon, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Former Yugoslavia, Moscow, Israel and the West Bank, the UAE and Tunisia

In 1986, he won the World Press Award in the 'Daily Life' category for his work on assignment for the Observer in China.

Now living in Northern Ireland, Le Garsmeur has published several books of landscape photography since retiring from photojournalism. His work is held in several international archives and collections.

From 1st June - 22nd July 2023, Gallery I will be the venue for a selection of some of the most important and impactful images of Le Garsmeur's career. This exhibition is his first retrospective.

As well as the exhibition, Belfast Exposed will host an exclusive Artist Talk with Le Garsmeur on Thursday 29th June at 18:00.

Hear Le Garsmeur talk to Belfast-based curator Ciara Hickey through his career, some of his most iconic images and his approach to photojournalism. All for FREE and surrounded by the exhibition in Gallery I. Book your ticket here.


'Belfast Exposed is delighted to be the venue for Alain Le Garsmeur's first major retrospective. An important figure in photojournalism in both a Northern Irish and global context, Le Garsmeur's vibrant compositions document everyday life in the rapidly changing world of the 1970s and 80s. His frequent focus on ordinary people and their daily lives provides a perspective on the period often otherwise lacking. A brilliant photographer and storyteller, Le Garsmeur's work is a must see.'

Deirdre Robb, Director Belfast Exposed.

'Alain le Garsmeur's long overdue survey show at Belfast Exposed is one of the highlights of this year's Belfast Photo Festival programme. Drawing on a vast archive of images, the exhibition takes us on a journey through Alain's decade-spanning career in which he photographed and reported on some of the most significant political and social events around the world for publications such as the Sunday Times and Observer Magazines. He is an exemplar of photojournalism in an ever-changing and tumultuous era'

Clare Gormley, Belfast Photo Festival.

The Artists

Alain Le Garsmeur

Artist Biography

Alain Le Garsmeur (b. 1943) is an award-winning documentary photographer for publications including The Observer and The Sunday Times.

Born in France, Le Garsmeur studied at Ealing Art College and worked as an assistant to photographers such as Helmut Newton, Donald Silverstein and Guy Bourdin, before embarking on his career in photojournalism. As a freelancer, he worked mainly for The Observer and Sunday Times throughout the 1970s and 80s, with his work also appearing in Newsweek, The Independent, Figaro and other publications.

His images of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, depicting both the conflict and the mundanity of everyday life amidst the violence, brought him international recognition. He went on to work globally throughout the 1980s, in Europe, the Americas and Asia. His work for The Observer in China won him a World Press Award in 1986.

Le Garsmeur now lives in Northern Ireland and has written or contributed to several books since retiring from photojournalism.


Artist Talk - Alain Le Garsmeur

29th June 2023 | 18:00 | Belfast Exposed - Gallery I