BY HELEN RIDDELL
A NEW photographic book on the landscape of the Beara Peninsula throughout the seasons and taken over two years is hitting the shelves.
The book, simply called Beara, is by Kenmare-based photographer Norman McCloskey, and saw him hike the hills and valleys of Beara, including the Peninsula’s two islands, Dursey and Bere.
McCloskey’s first book, Parklight, featured images from Killarney’s National Park. He says that finding a project to take on after this was a challenge.
‘When I finished work on Parklight I needed another project to fill the hole that left. I initially started something which didn’t really grab me, but I ended up in Beara one day and knew instantly that was my next project.’
Beara, he says, was where it all began for him as a photographer. ‘When I first got started in photography I would cycle from Kenmare to explore Beara, it’s the landscape that means the most to me.’
The 90 images in the book were taken throughout the seasons. McCloskey also says he discovered parts of the Beara landscape he’d never come across before. ‘The light only hits some valleys at certain times of the year, and the south side of Bere Island is just something else.’
Visiting Dursey Island, he says, was also one of his highlights. The book includes a foreword by director Neil Jordan, who owns a home just outside Castletownbere and who sums up McCloskey’s capturing of the Beara landscape: ‘What Norman McCloskey captures forever is that moment when the rain has stopped, and the familiar beauty emerges from the cloud. You had almost forgotten it was there.’
The high quality hardback book is being produced in two editions. One, a limited edition, comes with a matching slipcase and is accompanied by a signed print from a series chosen to accompany the book.
The second edition for general sale is priced €35 and will be available from selected bookshops and from the Norman McCloskey Gallery Maine Street, Kenmare. For further details see www.normanmccloskey.com