The Majesty of Ice: BEACONS – new photographic exhibition by Daragh Muldowney

Images courtesy of
Daragh Muldowney

David Prendeville

BEACONS, a new exhibition by Photographer Daragh Muldowney, celebrates the beauty of ice and the small pine trees found along the vast ice roads of Lake Baikal. Muldowney has been travelling to Lake Baikal, Siberia, the largest freshwater lake on the planet, for the past three years. He has been compiling work for his latest exhibition which documents his many trips to this alluring area of breathtaking natural beauty, creating stunning images that illustrate the immense attraction of the ice there and the small trees that mark out the road traversing the frozen lake. Muldowney is proud to present his work in the eight-week exhibition in conjunction with his recently released beautiful art photobook of this work, both entitled BEACONS. 
While it was originally hoped that the exhibition, which started on February 17th and runs until April 14th, would be able to take place physically in The Copperhouse Gallery, Covid restrictions have meant that Mudlowney is instead hosting Zoom sessions, where he brings his audiences through the exhibition (in location) via video arranged specially made for this set up. As he guides the invited guests through the exhibition he talks about the project and individual pieces. These Zooms are limited to 6 people and they last about an hour. People can ask questions about each piece at the time also.

Lake Baikal is one of the most biodiverse places on earth as it is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, many of which are endemic to the region. 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. 
Photographing this ancient road system was a fascinating experience for Muldowney in many ways and he feels that his documentation of this unusual and unique way of life is a beautiful human story that also highlights the immense natural beauty of Lake Baikal.
Daragh’s interest in photography originally developed, when he completed a Scuba Diving course in 1992, where he was awestruck 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. His photography aims to present a surreal perspective and the small detail of nature that we often overlook. As a result, his work gently reminds us to appreciate our beautiful planet.
Daragh began exhibiting his work on the railings of St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin in the summer of 2002 and due to the success of this exhibition he founded Dúlra Photography in February, 2003. Daragh’s commitment to developing his work was further demonstrated when he travelled across the Sahara in Morocco, and then trekked across glaciers in Iceland, taking photographs of the opposing climates and conditions. The images from the two trips were launched in 2007 as his first themed exhibition called ‘Sand & Ice’.

Beacons is Daragh’s third book of his photography. He previously had success with ‘Jewellery Box – Ireland’s Hidden Gems’ and ‘Out of Thin Air’ which won the 2015 FEP European landscape photobook of the year award.
More information on the exhibition and Daragh Muldowney’s work can can be found at: