In describing photographic genres, I recently came across the term ‘Minimal Landscape,’ and I suppose that would come closest to describing the scenes that tend to appeal to me. Generally, I try to capture images that appear restrained and sparse, and for me at least, make our beautiful country appear at its most evocative and atmospheric.
I am always on the lookout for a focal point against that landscape – like the old Connemara farm hut in this case. I find an overcast Irish sky is as much an important part of our scenery as green fields and cliffs. Aesthetically, it’s sombre and feels like it adds weight and atmosphere in a way a blue sky never can, at least to me. This image is mostly just that – a blank sky. It meets the land with a clinically clean line. The angular hut compliments this geometry. I wish I was talented enough to spot all that in the viewfinder at the time of shooting! For now, I’ll just have to continue taking far too many shots of a given scene, in the hope that just one might be presentable on later inspection!
These old dwellings are peppered across the country – standing stubbornly defiant and resilient against an ever-changing and modern world.
They are a testament to our ancestors, and a reminder that we are all just passing through this land, custodians of it for the briefest of time; and soon enough we will leave our own monuments, both modest and grand – for future generations to observe and preserve.
They co-exist and compliment, enrich, nourish and remind us that our country’s landscape remains a constant, an anchor and a rich and storied canvas upon which we must constantly renew ourselves, our society and the communities in which we live.
Image on display and available to buy at the Samhain exhibition which runs in The Copper House, 19 St Kevin’s Cottages, D08 EE73 until November 30 and Abhainn Studio, Enniscrone, Sligo.
Words & photo: Derek Saville