Former President of Ireland Mar Robinson sits beside a wooden table with her hands clasped in her lap. She is dressed in a grey and black striped jacket with a brooch at the lapel, and she gazes upwards and to her right.
Johnny Savage (b.1981), Mary Robinson, Dublin, 2018. © Johnny SavageCredit

Johnny Savage

Mary Robinson, Dublin, 2018

Photograph, 58.5 x 82 cm

'This portrait was commissioned by The Guardian newspaper. On the morning that the world’s leading climate scientists warn that the planet has until 2030 to avert a global warming catastrophe, Mary Robinson appears suitably sombre. She wears black shoes, black trousers and a black sweater and perches at the end of a long table at her Climate Justice Foundation, headquartered in Dublin. The only dash of brightness is a multi-coloured brooch on her lapel. “It symbolises the sustainable development goals,” she says. “It’s the one good emblem that the United Nations has produced, so I like to wear it.” “I’ve learned from Archbishop Desmond Tutu to be a ‘prisoner of hope’: the glass may not be half full, but there’s something in the glass that you work on. Hope brings energy.”’

(Extract from an interview and article by Rory Carroll for The Guardian, 12 October 2018)


Johnny Savage is a photographer and lecturer from Co. Kildare. In 2018 he completed an MFA in Photography at University of Ulster, Belfast. He also holds a BA in Documentary Photography from University of Wales, Newport (2004). His first photobook, Fallout, was published in 2014, which was followed by the self-published title White Horses in 2018. Savage lectures on photography at Griffith College Dublin.


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