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Carrickfergus Museum showcases 'The Presence of Absence' exhibition

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Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Alderman Beth Adger MBE recently launched Carrickfergus Museum’s latest exhibition ‘The Presence of Absence’ featuring White Star Line’s ocean class ships – including the ill-fated Titanic.


‘The Presence of Absence’ showcases shipbuilding, maritime history and life in the docks and will be on display until 31 August 2024. This unique joint body of work includes recently discovered negatives and prints as well as hundreds of photographs taken over many decades.


It comprises images of Harland and Wolff’s design drawing offices where the intricate details of the magnificent White Star Line’s Olympic Ocean class ships were once prepared.


Some are historical photographs of the world-famous Titanic and Olympic liners and the rest by artist Trevor Ferris, with a quest to document this industrial landscape and the changes within.


Trevor is a photographer and media creative with a long tradition of professional work in broadcasting, editing, artistic multimedia, as well as journalism and book illustration work for local councils and tourist agencies throughout Ireland. 

At the launch, Trevor described how he was inspired by the discovery of a photograph which his grandfather took of the Titanic in 1912. This image was discovered in a small leather suitcase in the attic of the family home in Belfast, along with some of his papers and prints. These are thought to be taken with an early Kodak Brownie, which was first released in 1900, and helped popularise photography.  It was a discovery that led Trevor on a journey to document the bygone industrial landscape of the lough shore, which has culminated in a superb album of photographs that have been specially curated to form a timeline of images exhibited in this gallery space.


The Mayor commended Trevor for his work and said: “We are delighted to host this exhibition at Carrickfergus Museum.


“The town has a long maritime history of its own, as well as a somewhat forgotten ship-building industry. Trevor’s project affords us another opportunity to highlight this aspect of the town’s heritage through objects and images from the museum collection here. Another link to Trevor’s work is the connection with the poet Louis MacNeice, who as a small boy, stood on the shoreline here and watched Titanic sail up the Lough and out to sea – never to return.”


The exhibition will also include items from Carrickfergus Museum collection, showcasing the town’s ship building past and maritime heritage.


The exhibition will be on display until 31 August 2024 and will offer an associated programme, including creative workshops.


For more information call 028 93358241 or email



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