index - artikelen - links
wim wiskerke vorm en foto
introduction by Liam Ronayne
Jan Voster
(I did the design)

The book is for sale in Ireland and in the ACF.

Het boek is in ieder geval te koop in het ACF - Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie - Bethaniënstraat Amsterdam

tentoonstelling: 29 maart tm 3 mei Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie - Bethaniënstraat Amsterdam


When Donegal County Council invited Jan Voster and Cathal Ó Searcaigh to work together to record and celebrate the changing way of life and landscape of Caiseal na gCorr, the artists were strangers neither to us nor to each other. Jan Voster is fascinated by that place and he has photographed that area time and again since he first came to Donegal. It was Jan who proposed the project which led to this book.
He has come back to Caiseal na gCorr each season over the past two years to capture the area in all its moods. He suggested that Cathal get involved, and the two went around the Glen together. Cathal told him of the history of each individual part of the Glen and of the people who lived there, Jan listening and absorbing.

Oliver McDonagh recently wrote that, as a historian, he could exercise his love of words ‘only in the lower pastures, not on the bright, sunglanced uplands’. As one of Ireland’s foremost poets, Cathal is at home in the sun-glanced uplands, in every sense; his prose is equally delightful, as his pieces in this book show. Jan’s photographs of the Donegal landscape, captured especially in his Landscape of Remembrance exhibition and book of 1995, seek to evoke things which are gone but are not fully gone, a quality he finds in Donegal in contrast to more ‘developed’ parts of Europe. Cathal himself has written about Jan’s work: ‘his intimate touch with nature, with the green spirit of mountain and moor gives his pictures that marvellous clarity: a rapt contemplation’.

Cathal has been a catalyst in bringing many artists to his dúchas, as well as encouraging local people to open up to their artistic sides. Equally important has been his use of words in transmitting the heritage of the area to future generations. Jan has taken admirable care in making the images, in choosing what to include from the vast number he has taken of Caiseal na gCorr over the lifetime of this project (and indeed since the mid-1980s), the order in which they should appear in the book, and their relationship with the text. Coming from an environment which has been industrialised and urbanised for centuries, he brings a different eye, but one which knows this landscape well.

I congratulate Jan and Cathal for their beautiful and telling images and words. I also congratulate Traolach Ó Fionnáin who has stewarded this project through its various stages. He has been more than a project manager for this project; at times he has been like an anxious farmer in the Glen during lambing season. For the two artists and for Traolach it has all been an extremely worthwhile venture, and I commend this book to the reader as an invaluable record of a way of life that will soon be no more.

Cathal prays that ‘a door of kindness be always open in our hearts’; this book will help to keep that door ajar.

Liam Ronayne