The Peoples Portraits
The Peoples Portraits 1899-1918. 100 black and white framed prints from glass negatives selected from the Northern Ireland Prison Service, each 24.1 x 18.7 cm. Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, 2018. Photographer Ros Kavanagh.

This body of work came through the process of engaging with the older LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in County Galway through the Public Art Commission/Residency for Galway County Council Arts Office, (2011). The aim of the commission was to connect with this group of people who have lived through dramatic changes in Irish society and create a series of artworks, which reflect their lives and experiences. Dunsmore created a video portrait of Senator David Norris (2014) filmed in the attic of the James Joyce Centre, Dublin and the currently touring exhibition Becoming Christine.
John Hume
John Hume, 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, filmed in his former constituency Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 2005.
John Hume was a key figure behind the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement in 1998, which ended decades of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. He had joined the Northern Irish civil rights movement in the late 1960s and was Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 1979 to 2001. Hume shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with David Trimble and was later awarded the Martin Luther King Peace Award and the International Gandhi Peace Prize. Photographer Ros Kavanagh.
Since 2004, Dunsmore has filmed portraits of individuals engaged in politics. This process started in Northern Ireland with the filming of David Ervine of the Progressive Unionist Party, which is also the first filmed portrait in The Agreement Portraits. So far the artist has filmed; David Ervine, Progressive Unionist Party, filmed in Belfast, 2004; Monica McWilliams, Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, filmed in Belfast, 2005; Lord Alderdice, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, filmed in Belfast, 2005; Martin McGuinness, Sinn Féin, filmed in Derry/Londonderry, 2005; John Hume, Social Democratic and Labour Party, filmed in Derry/Londonderry, 2005, David Trimble (by then Lord Trimble), Ulster Unionist Party, filmed in Banbridge, Co. Down, 2017 and Senator George Mitchell filmed in Dublin, 2018.
Dunsmore's art practice is grounded in the ethos of social practice. The most recent example of her social art practice methodology, is the artistic collaborative partnership with Christine Beynon. Becoming Christine is based on the lived experience of Christine Beynon. It is a continually developing body of work involving re-presented "selfies", sound installation, video portraiture and the Becoming Christine publication. The "selfies" follow Christine Beynon's journey and transition over the past fifteen years.  These self portraits range in tone from the painful, to the playful, from the mundane to the contemplative to the joyful. The re-presented "selfies", immersive narrated sound installation, and video portrait, is the result of an eight year, on-going, collaborative partnership between Amanda Dunsmore and Christine Beynon.

Dunsmore’s art practice employs longitudinal research processes, through this process she discovered the source images for The Peoples Portraits 1899-1918 (2018),  at the Northern Ireland Prison Service Training College at Woburn House in Millisle, Co. Down. Dating from the 1890’s, the original glass plate negatives contain both face-on and side-profile images, taken mainly at Armagh prison by two prison officers trained as photographers, P. Egan and M. Cronin. From the thousands of original photographs, Dunsmore selected and edited 100, which date from 1899 to 1918, before the partition of Ireland in 1921.

The legacy of Becoming Christine in combining specific artistic elements which together create an exhibition based in portraiture, is not only reflective of an individual finding themselves but is also reflective of the enormous socio-political change that has taken place in Ireland & England over the past sixty years. Christine’s ongoing and remarkable journey to full self-realisation and the bravery of this act, make her a true pioneer. ‘Every time I go outside my front door it’s a political statement.’ Christine Beynon, Interview 2012.
The Keeper archive holds the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement video portraits as well as video portraits of Northern Ireland’s Nobel Peace Prize Laureates.
Becoming Christine - video portrait depicts Christine outside her home in rural Galway; a home she self-built for her family. Installation RHA, Dublin 2018. Photographer Paul McCarthey.

Amanda Dunsmore researches and creates her portraits, from a diverse range of political significant locations. The socio-historical artwork Plan 1997 - created from 0ver 900 19th & 20th centuary street signs from Weimar, in the former East Germany. Billy’s Museum 2004, is a socio - political filmed portrait from Northern Ireland; Billy Hull was a senior Prison Officer at Her Majesty’s Prison Maze, whom Dunsmore met in 1998 when she was artist in residence in the prison. Over a period of fifteen years Hull had disobeyed an order to destroy materials and instead saved them. Dunsmore filmed the collected objects inside the prison’s old laundry building. Billy’s Museum presents this display along with interviews with Hull about prison life and the objects he amassed. Billy Hull's radical action of historical preservation is the conceptual base and starting point for the Keeper project.

Plan was created in 1997, whilst on residency at the ACC Gallery, in Weimar, former East Germany. This urban historical portrait is a installation consists of 900 enameled Weimar street signs, covering of 152 sq,m. There are 450 different individual street names dating from 1910 - 1989. The metal/enamel signs were replaced by new plastic ones with the unification of Germany. These old streets signs were thrown in a bin awaiting disposal. Dunsmore recovered, cleaned, documented and set up the on-going preservation and storage of the street signs. Plan continues to be represented by the ACC Gallery, Weimar.
Dunsmore's art practice employs archival processes and includes tactics drawn from established conventions of portrait painting. Through extensive series of video portraits and artworks, Dunsmore aims to consider portraitures historical associations with commemoration and celebration, such as; The Agreement Portraits and the roles of heroic individuals like Christine Beynon, in Becoming Christine.
'…there is a tangible physicality about these signs which may conjure up vivid memories for those who have perhaps had occasion to once wonder these streets. Or, indeed, for those for whom these streets exist only as part of the fable of political boundary writing, learned of from books, newspapers and magazines, these signs offer a strange collage type of place.' Juliana Engberg, Director Melbourne International Biannual 'Signs of Life', 1999.
Becoming Christine, 21 framed re-presented "selfies" and immersive narrated sound installation at the RHA, Dublin 2018. Photographer Paul McCarthey.