IN THE FRAME
Pendant and Gold
This image is from my photographic project “Pangea – Raising the Dead from Montego Bay to Serpent’s Rock”, about the fossils that abound along some 60km of the Sligo coastline from Streedagh to Easky. It is a photographic interpretation, in a somewhat abstract fashion, that I have been working on for over a decade. It came about through a chance encounter with a friend, the late Dermot Healy, the well-known Sligo writer, who was walking his dog on the rocks in front of his house at Ballyconnell in that county.
I told Dermot what I was doing and about my recent fascination with the fossils that seemed to pop up everywhere along the coastline. I wondered what they might have looked like in their aquamarine paradise 80 million years ago, with the tide going out and coming in over that passage of time and still intact. Dermot responded, “Mike, you are half right. They started life in the Caribbean much earlier and eventually settled along the Sligo coastline. But that was up to more than 300 million years ago, not 80. We are now standing on Serpent’s Rock.”
We went for a walk with, underfoot, thousands of snake-like fossils covering many acres. I have been photographing them ever since. Hence the title of the project.
Mike Bunn – The Man Who Sees Through Shadows is an exhibition of over 130 photographs that span six decades of the photographer’s working life in Ireland. It runs at Farmleigh Gallery, in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, from Friday November 18 until Sunday March 19, 2023. See the gallery’s website for opening hours. Admission is free. farmleigh.ie