Meet Holly from Galway
I was walking through the Galway markets when Holly appeared as a vision of eccentricity. I told her I loved her look and she said it was her happy look. I didn’t realise at the time that Holly is a well known artist in Galway who works with Ceramics and also teaches art. One of Holly’s well know art exhibitions “Merged Forvever Into Clay”, sought to show the hidden grief in the loss of thousands of young Irishmen in World War One.
Holly is currently working on a healing project.
Meet Niall from Tuam.
I stopped Niall because of his wonderful moustache and found out it was the result of a botched shave of his beard this morning – lucky me! Niall is a musician who is part of a three piece garage pop group called “Oh Boland” . When I stopped him he was on his way to fill in for a friend’s band who were down a guitarist. Niall was a dream model who was happy to stand wherever I wanted and said “do what you like!” I think this photo sums up his laid back vibe.
For more information on Niall’s band “OhBoland” check out the following sites:
We are delighted to introduce the first of our 100 Faces of Galway.
Meet Marciana from Romania. She has been in Galway 2 years and was on a quick break from her job in Java’s when I caught her hiding from the rain. Marciana is a director so she is not used to being in front of the camera, but this photo indicates otherwise. I had a lovely colour portrait of her but after talking to her a little longer I decided to go with this black and white which shows a little more of her character, confident but approachable. Marciana is directing a play in Nuns Island later this year.
Having a nice lazy Sunday? Why don’t you grab a coffee and catch up some of our recent travel tales
Please let us know which your favourite tale was!
Happy Sunday !
As we are almost at the end of our Parisian experience I have been surprised by the Parisian themselves. Having been here three times before I had the impression that Parisians were aloof and standoff-ish. However when travelling now as a mom of a very engeretic toddler I have gotten to see a different side of Parisians. They are kind, friendly and helpful. Even when Eli is tearing down the sidewalk between legs and approaching every motorbike he sees, he is treated to smiles and lots of “bonjours”! It reminded me of one of our best African days in Rwanda.
Having hitched a lift with a newspaper delivery man from Uganda to Rwanda we knew that public transport might be limited. So we decided to hire two local guys to bring us along the shore of Lake Kivu, from Gisenyi to Kibuye, on the back of their motorbikes. This route was relatively unchartered for tourists so as we sped through the first few villages it became obvious that “mazungus” (white people) weren’t normally seen in this area. The roads are constantly streaming with people; carrying water, provisions or school books. Life is lived in the outdoors and that day we provided entertainment to those who were watching the world go by. A constant shout of “bonjour!” was heard from the adults while the children squealed and shouted “mazungu,mazungu.” Some were slightly overwhelmed by our unexpected appearance in their villages and after the initial shock would chase after us screaming “bonjour” while trailing off in laughter as our bike drivers negotiated the busy dirt roads. The rolling hills full of tea plantations on one side and the open expanse of Lake Kivu made for a beautiful landscape but this image reminds us always of that wonderful journey. A day that summed up what we felt about Rwandans; beautiful, friendly people.
Both Andy & Michelle have both always said they don’t have the patience for landscape photography, but sometimes a place is so stunning it makes you be patient and wait to get that perfect shot.
Here are some of those moments that caused them to stop and wait.
After visiting Nick Brandt’s amazing “Inherit the dust” exhibition today in A Galerie, Paris, I had to blog on wildlife and lost territories.
Rwanda is home to a well protected national park where Mountain Gorillas roam. This region was famous by “Gorillas in the Mist” in the 1980’s and Diane Fossy ultimately gave her life to highlight the plight of the Mountain Gorilla. The Virunga Mountain range was ravaged by poachers and humans farming up the slopes. Gorillas were either being murdered or dying from respiratory diseases passed on from the close contact of these humans. Thankfully action was taken to protect them and these volcanic mountains now have a healthy number of Gorilla families.
We were lucky enough to meet one of these families on the slopes of Mount Bisoke. I always dreamed of climbing an active volcano but I had envisioned lava flows rather than dense vegetation and the beating chests of Gorillas! Andy took this image of one of the juveniles who spent our hour wanted to play with us. He spent his time doing tricks on the low lying branches, always looking to see if we were still watching. He was like any toddler, never daring to leave his mothers side for too long but clambering and climbing with the finesse of a bear! He still had a lot to learn.
We were lucky to have had such a wonderful close encounter with such stunning creatures and hope that these encounters will be possible for the generations to come.
After spending the day in the stunning Palace of Versaille I was reminded of this photo. I am amazed when I visit a historic building and get a sense of the place. Standing in the gardens of the Palace I could imagine the life that once took place, the perfectly manicured hedges lining the multitude of walkways. The Palace itself is the embodiment of opulence. Granduer and royalty is everywhere, but then again approximately €400 million euro is currently being spent on its restoration.
Now look again at Andy’s photo. A setting sun throws the shape of a glassless window frame on the wall and sand which has filled the building. This is the absolute embodiment of abandonment. Kolmanskop in Namibia used to be a place which was literally brimming with wealth. In the early 1900’s diamonds were found in these sandy grounds and it didn’t take the German colonisers long to set up camp.
A self-sufficient German styled town was built; ballroom, power station, sports hall and a theatre shot up. A tram (the first in Africa) was built to deliver the diamonds to the nearby port in Luderitz. This town even had the first X Ray machine in the Southern Hemisphere! Money was no object.
Once again look at the photo. We wandered down the empty hospital corridors hoping we wouldn’t meet the elusive hyenas said to live there now. We crawled through windows of houses so full of sand that the doors could not open. There were no other tourists when we went to take our sunrise or sunset shots. The only company we had was the blistering heat and sand shifting winds.
This town ran out of diamonds and without them life was too difficult to sustain. Nature wanted to take back the land that had given so much to these colonial powers. By the mid 1950’s the town was empty.
Unlike today’s visit to Versaille this was a ghostly experience, the howling winds almost carried the music of the dance halls and the thumps of heavy machinery. Both have left a lasting impression, but no amount of gold can have the same impact as a house full of sand,
For more of our photos and stories check out our website here