Norman McCloskey is a landscape photographer based in Kenmare, Co. Kerry and has been photographing the Irish landscape since 1992. He runs a busy gallery in the centre of town and works on commissioned work and his own book projects outside of the gallery. Norman’s wife Lorraine runs the gallery when he is out gallivanting in the mountains and holds the fort at home with the rest of the family; Emily (14), Finn (10) and Jake the labradoodle !
What inspired you to become a photographer?
Moving to Kenmare from my upbringing in Limerick City had a profound affect on me and I was completely awestruck by the beauty of the landscape I now lived in. Picking up a camera was the perfect way to spend time in the landscape and tap into a creative part of me that up to that point had no outlet.
Did you train professionally, did it direct you into a particular area?
After a year of self taught photography in the pre-internet days I went to study photography in Dublin for two years and subsequently worked as a photographers assistant. Both things actually only showed me the areas of photography that I didn’t feel I had a future in so I was more determined to find a way for landscape photography to work for me.
How is your work influenced by your surroundings?
For starters it makes it very easy to get up at 4am ! The wonderful light we have here on the west coast and rugged and often sparse beauty of the mountains here have shaped my photography over the years. I am influenced greatly by the texture and form of the mountains, particularly on the Beara Peninsula.. so much so that I have rarely made any significant work outside of my own area in over 26 years.
Has the current pandemic impacted your work and business?
My daughter Emily is Type 1 diabetic, so we were pretty scared by all of this at the start. We self isolated long before everyone else, and obviously the gallery had to close, just when I had opened it for the new season. So like everyone else, our sales and turnover are way down but we remain safe and healthy and I’m sure we’ll all bounce back. It has had it’s upsides and it has been quite a creative time exploring the landscape immediately around me.
What are you currently working on/plans for the future?
We hope to open the gallery at the beginning of July and see what the rest of the season brings us. I am currently working on my third book of landscape images which will be called KINGDOM and will be released next year.
Norman’s work features in our Box of Smiles – Keep Kenmare Smiling gift box, take a look here