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Beacons Daragh Muldowney

Beacons Daragh Muldowney

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BEACONS is a series of images from Lake Baikal in Siberia documenting the surreal ice road system that guides travellers across the vast frozen expanse of the largest freshwater lake on the planet.

Beacons | Photobook

Lake Baikal in Siberia is the oldest and largest freshwater lake on the planet. 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.

Captivated by the surreal beauty of these beacons, award winning Irish photographer Daragh Muldowney returned to Lake Baikal over three winters in the hope of documenting them. Their organic forms emerging from the mist or appearing unexpectedly on the distant horizon, each tree is a benign presence in an otherwise barren world, offering hope and safe passage.

Beacons is a new photobook and exhibition which celebrates the small pine trees found along the ice roads of Lake Baikal.


Signs along the way
Each one perfectly placed
Guiding like Beacons

To be lost and then returned
That is pure sanctuary

Dúlra – Irish for Nature’s Elements

“I believe in Nature’s healing power. My aim, through my photography is to bring you closer to nature and for you to feel a sense of peace and calm while viewing my images.” – Daragh Muldowney

Daragh’s interest in photography originally developed, when he completed a Scuba Diving course in 1992, where he was awe struck by the experience of being under water. Life under the sea seemed like another world, where he made an instant connection with the elements.

Shortly after Daragh bought a Canon camera, a thirty year old model he still uses occasionally, and began to take photographs to convey his experiences and love of nature. Without the use of artificial light or filters, his photography aims to present the smaller details of nature that we often overlook. As a result, his work gently reminds us to appreciate our beautiful planet.

‘Beacons’ was the winner of the Fine Art category of the IPA International Photography Awards 2020 

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