Road bowling, or ‘throwing the bullet’ is primarily associated with the Counties of Armagh and Cork. It is somewhat idiosyncratic as a pursuit, disputed as to its origins and in some ways seemingly a legacy of a previous era, involving nothing more than participants taking turns at throwing an iron and steel ball as far down a country road as possible. Yet healthy numbers continue to spectate and to stroll alongside the players whilst many frequently wager not insignificant amounts on the prospective winners.
The photographs in this exhibition show people and environments from these two regions, featuring both players and spectators of the sport. Photographs from Cork are by Michael Bradley and photographs from Armagh are by Colin Robins, assisted by Joonas Aitonurmi in Armagh. Joonas Aitonurmi is a Helsinki journalist and writer, and Colin Robins is a Cornwall based photographer and lecturer at the University of Plymouth. Two recent collaborations resulted in exhibitions held in Helsinki at the Alexsanteri Institute, Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, and at Tiedekulma’s Crazy World conference. Michael Bradley is a London-based photographer and Associate Professor of Photography at Middlesex University.