The Palm House photographs by Amelia Stein were taken in the Great Palm House in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, prior to the complete restoration of this magnificent glass house, built in 1884. It took Amelia two years to complete this series – allowing time to record seasonal changes in the lives of the tropical plantings, the unique pot and tub culture and all the nuances of light through thousands of glass panes – which is now in the collections of the Office of Public Works, Ireland.
“The scale of the house and its light-filled interior suggests an outdoor space, but the world it evokes is ‘other’. The all enveloping warmth and humidity is still and scented. The light doubly filtered, firstly by the opaque, moisture-frosted glass, then by the green veil of leafy plants reaching for the roof, their varied shapes casting intricate and mysterious patterns.”
~ Brendan Sayers, Glasshouse Foreman, National Botanic Gardens, Ireland
Visit Seeing Moments: The Palm House by Brendan Sayers, a companion piece to this gallery, with highlights of the grand restoration, of their collaboration, and with more beautiful photographs by Amelia Stein.
Amelia Stein, RHA, was born in 1958 and lives and works in Dublin, where over the past 30 years, she has established herself as a singularly exacting photographer. Her work is characterized by meticulous attention to detail, in tandem with the attributes of fine black and white traditional photographic printing. From 1979 through 2000, her commissioned work was in the area of Theatre, Opera, Musicians and Portraiture. By 2000 to the present day, Amelia’s focus is solely on her personal work. These Exhibitions address the universal subject of absence and presence and “Loss and Memory“, now in the collection of IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art). “The Big Sky,” reveals the abandoned houses and vernacular buildings in the wild, wide open expanses of North County Mayo; once built fit for purpose, they are now recycled as animal shelters, a maternity unit for sheep during the lambing season, or for storage of locally cut turf. These photographic portraits of the cultural, human and natural landscapes of Ireland’s County Mayo are not to be missed. You can see a fine representation of Amelia’s unique photographic artistry on her website, including a selection of Limited Edition Silver Gelatin prints from her exhibitions “The Big Sky” and “The Palm House.” Limited Edition Silver Gelatin prints of The Palm House photographs shown here, and others not shown, are available from the Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin.
The Palm House: Photography by Amelia Stein; foreword by John Banville, text by Brendan Sayers; published by The Lilliput Press Ltd., printed on Garda Pat Klassica and bound by Editoriale Bortolazzi Stei, Verona, Italy.
This fine monograph of duotone photographs taken in the great Palm House at the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin, beautifully illustrates the house prior to its restoration, and its unique patina acquired over a period of time that spans three centuries. Amelia captures the relationships between the luxuriant tropical plantings and the time-worn fabric of the building, the seasonal changes in light. Further to the hardback edition of The Palm House, there is a limited edition of 100 numbered copies, presented in a slipcase and signed by Stein, Banville and Sayers. It is accompanied by a signed archival pigment print by Amelia Stein.