Police Force

'Seawright's Police Force photographs show fragments of Northern Ireland, through the vehicle of a study of the R.U.C., with whom Seawright spent many months.

The images often close in on an overlooked corner or detail which in turn give way to a larger import. One such image shows the dusty corner of a room in a barracks. Central to the scene is a battered, old style two bar electric fire. It is burnt and rusted its metal guard wires are mangled. It stands on a dusty floor in front of the corner of some shelving, between which are some plug sockets, wiring and switches in disrepair. This is the setting for one of the most sophisticated police forces in the world. The uniform of this police force is also displayed - on one shelf a police overcoat has been stuffed into a corner, while on its opposite corner, a union flag is carefully folded. These uniforms are each worn by this police force, in reality or in the symbolic, in life or in death. Why has Seawright chosen this image? This corner, overlooked by even the cleaners, must be interpreted in the realm of the symbolic because of the significance appointed to it by the photographer. Look at the chipped formica, the broken and outmoded switches. It is a scene shabby, tired, worn out through use. These objects have come to the end of their natural lifespan. Like the dreary conflict of Northern Ireland, they need swept away.'

From Review by Catherine Devlin 1995