Photographer Daragh Muldowney has been travelling to Lake Baikal, Siberia, the largest freshwater lake on the planet, for the past three years. He has been compiling work for his latest exhibition which documents his many trips to this alluring area of breath-taking natural beauty, creating stunning images that illustrate the immense attraction of the ice there and the small trees that mark out the road traversing the frozen lake.
Lake Baikal is one of the most biodiverse places on earth as it is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which are endemic to the region. In winter, temperatures drop as low as -40°C and the lake becomes a vast frozen plain. Crossing the lake can be a hazardous journey as the ice comes under huge pressure causing it to either break apart exposing the frigid water below or crush together creating large jagged hummocks. To help travellers across the ice, the locals mark out an ice road by drilling holes and planting small pine trees that act as markers, ‘beacons’ guiding the way.
Photographing this ancient road system was a fascinating experience for Muldowney in many ways and he feels that his documentation of this unusual and unique way of life is a beautiful human story that also highlights the immense natural beauty of Lake Baikal.
Runs until June 18 (viewing by appointment only from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5.30pm)