Taking on the hidden world of Irish Catholicism, photographer Jackie Nickerson visits the hallways, libraries, kitchens and dining rooms of Catholic institutions. Shot over two and a half years, her resulting portraits of priests and nuns, architectural details and still lifes are tinged with intimacy and absurdity. A combination of gentle portraits and simple documentation of daily rituals and communal devotion suggests an austere existence grounded in optimism, strength and contentment. Whilst never suggesting that she is able to divine or represent the veiled mysteries of faith, the book – which includes an interview with the artist by Vince Aletti – offers a rare glimpse into a vocational life riven by clarity of purpose and personal courage.

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