Photographic portrait of Neil Shawcross by Bobby Hanvey.

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This rare photographic study of painter Neil Shawcross was one of a series of portraits undertaken by Downpatrick photographer Bobby Hanvey whose double image of Paisley and Carson has gone around the world. That work more than any other by Hanvey bears witness to his creativity. He hired a ‘cherry-picker’ firstly to lift Ian Paisley parallel with Carson’s monument which breaks the line between The Prince of Wales and Parliament Buildings. When correspondingly raised to same level Hanvey captured Northern Ireland’s two big men of Ulster Unionism in the same frame. A colourful character, given to breaking into song at the drop of a hat, Hanvey is a much loved spirit by other creative souls.
He has photographed literary figures like Brian Friel and caught a rare glimpse of the elusive artist Basil Blackshaw in his Antrim studio. It is reported that Hanvey ‘looked after’ a guard protecting De Valera as he lay in state and fired off a number of frames of the former Irish President.

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I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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