Cormac Coyne ‘Inis Oírr in Lockdown’

Inis Oírr in Lockdown is an Exhibition at Aras Éanna of Photographs by Cormac Coyne taken during the Coronavirus lockdown on Inis Oirr.

My interest in photography began at a young age on a trip to London, I was less than 10 years old when my uncle handed me his Nikon SLR back in the days when all cameras used film.  I remember the excitement back at home sitting around the fire looking at the printed photos in a little album.

In 2007 I moved to Inis Oírr with my family and began teaching in the secondary schools on both Inis Oírr and on Inis Meáin.  Living here on the islands has made me acutely aware of the beauty of the nature that surrounds us, from beautiful sunsets, raging seas, the rich diversity of all the different types of life that thrive here to the countless stars that light up the night sky.  But most of all I am aware of a strong sense of community and the rich traditions that hold the people of the islands together.  Gentleness and resilience are two characteristics that to come to mind when I think about the people here.

It is in my pursuit to capture this richness of the islands onto an image that have allowed my abilities with a camera to grow and develop.  I do not believe that I have succeeded in my goal yet but for me it is the pursuit of this goal that is important.  It is what continues to help me to find and further push the limits of my abilities and imagination.  I have a keen interest in portrait photography, astrophotography, landscape, sport and wildlife.  I enjoy shooting images in low light, capturing each delicate photon of light that creates a unique image that is just not possible in daylight.

A special moment for me personally was exhibiting a selection of my photos in Áras Eanna alongside with other local talented photographers.  I have been lucky enough to take photos on the most southern tip of Africa to the tundra inside the Arctic Circle but it is here in on the Aran Islands where I feel most at home.

Our daily lives have changed drastically since this virus has made an appearance onto the world stage.  New ideas such as social distancing and the 5 km exercise zone from home have become all too normal.  A lot has changed for so many in recent times.  I had an idea to take photos from Inis Oírr to capture the outside world that we have taken for granted for so long.  The idea was to publish them online for the people who were too far from the sea or who could not see a sunset, I wanted to bring some of my world to them.

You can view the full exhibition at http://aras-eanna.ie/en/project/cormac-coyne-inis-oirr-in-lockdown/

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