Declan O’Rourke, ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’


Designed by Conor Clarke at Design Factory

Photography: Gerry Andrews

Photography: Dara Munnis

Art Direction: Declan O’Rourke

Art Direction: Conor Clarke

Categories: Packaging / CD / Vinyl / Cassette

Industry: Cultural

Tags: Typography / Art direction / Music

Gatefold vinyl cover, inner sleeves, digipak for CD + inner booklet and disc onbody labels were designed for Declan O’Rourke’s latest album ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’, released in October 2017.

Fifteen years in the making, this epic song cycle combines the best of traditional Irish music and the heart of modern song-writing to present a series of extraordinary true tales from the most dynamic period in Irelands history, inspired by John O’Connor's book "The Workhouses of Ireland.

Known as the Great Irish Famine, An Gorta Mór was by far the most impactful era in the recorded history of Ireland. The effect on the population was so devastating that seven generations and 170 years later, Irelands population is still far from where it was in the 1840s. The Famine marked the beginning of a boom in Irish immigration resulting in over 80 million across the world claiming Irish heritage today.

The album cover’s hyper-real photo illustration was created in the style of Italian painter Caravaggio — intense chiaroscuro and the artist's emphasis on co-extensive space — and features O'Rourke and band members re-enacting a scene from one historical tale. Following the ambush and shooting of the landlord ‘Manning’ in Co. Westmeath, locals formed a mob, found Manning's body, hacked the corpse into pieces and threw them into a ditch.

In an age where people are still fleeing their homelands en masse, struggling to escape tyranny and poverty, too often in vessels unfit for human transportation, these stories are as relevant as ever and speak to us of our own humanity.