raves and rapture in gareth mcconnell’s new book
Close Your Eyes is a killer kaleidoscopic collection of his photos.
Close Your Eyes, which will launch at Donlon Books on Broadway Market tomorrow. It's a frenzied reworking of archive of imagery that fuses portraits he took of rave-goers in Ibiza, along with pictures he shot and found of a number of key moments in recent British history, from the 1985 Battle of the Beanfield (when Wiltshire Police prevented hundreds of New Age travellers from setting up the Stonehenge Free Festival) to the London Riots of 2011.
It's a personal, political body of work, a frustrated meditation on the power of mass communion in its many forms, and the delirious experience of losing oneself to hedonism from the view of someone who saw it from within.
Amongst the images from the Northern Irish photographer, we find collected references to the Zen mystic Osho, whose people are said to have experimented with Ecstasy and taken it into clubs in Ibiza for the first time. The book is an immersive experience, galvanized with the same primal energy of the rave, its rapture and its ecstasy.