Artistic License: Norman McCloskey - The Gloss Magazine

Artistic License: Norman McCloskey

Meet Kenmare-based landscape photographer Norman McCloskey …

Where are you based?

I’m originally from Limerick City and as a family we had holidayed on the Dingle Peninsula since the 1960s, so Kerry was a big part of our lives. In the summer of 1992, I turned 21 and visited Kenmare with a friend to stay with my sister, who was living there. I was immediately struck by how open, friendly and relaxed life was in this beautiful small town. We had such a good time that I knew I wouldn’t want to leave, and when it came time to head home, I made the impulsive decision to stay. I found work in a restaurant and soon after borrowed a camera from the restaurant owner and took my first landscape photographs.

How and where do you work?

My work is centred mainly in the southwest and west coast of Ireland, with my adopted home county of Kerry being the most prominent area I have photographed over the last 30 years. Although I have photographed all over the world, from Iceland to Antarctica, I feel the most connected to the Irish landscape, and it’s this work that has the most meaning to me. Initially, I used 35mm film cameras and larger format and medium format film for 18 years, but I switched to the top-end digital SLRs for my first book project in 2011 while still retaining much of the film-based workflow and aesthetic of my work.

You have just published Kingdom, your third book. How does it differ from the other two, also inspired by Kerry?

Kingdom is very different to my first, Parklight, but a natural follow-on from my second book, Beara. It is a monograph of this extraordinary place I call home, a collection of 100 images that showcase this county’s pure beauty but also narrates my personal relationship and journey in the landscape here over the years. I didn’t set out to publish a definitive A-Z of Kerry or the most eye-catching views we all know. Instead, I work in this stunning landscape to produce a more expressive and personal view that hopefully resonates with the viewer.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

The most enjoyable part is being out in the landscape, always by myself, which for the last 30 years doesn’t ever get boring. I love discovering new places and exploring them with the camera, giving an already enjoyable experience and a real sense of purpose. Having my work hanging in homes worldwide is also a source of great pride, and I love hearing back from collectors when they receive their prints. Making these books is also hugely enjoyable and creative; it is wonderful to see the end product and send it out into the world.

Need to know: Kingdom by Norman McCloskey is €45 available to purchase from bookshops around the country including the Irish Design Shop;

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