Highly commended in the Zurich Portrait Prize 2018 at the National Gallery is Kim Haughton’s photograph of the late J.P. Donleavy, first published in her book, Portrait of a Century. In her studies, Kim seeks the moment of intimate stillness which segues and yet keeps apart what she is trying to capture and what her subject is willing to surrender. Never easy.
This is a study of longevity, nobility and a refusal to yield, yet the cobalt grey eyes blossom youthfully and reflectively within the topography of a face which charts a long and autonomous life lived on the writer’s own terms. There is too a leonine stoicism.
Kim’s first solo show In Plain Sight opened at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin in 2015, when she was named as an Irish photographer to watch by TIME magazine. The aforementioned book was accompanied by a major exhibition at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks. Kim is based in Dublin and New York: the current Zurich exhibition in the National Gallery concludes in mid-January, and if you are passing through Dublin for Christmas, highly recommended.