At the beginning of the 20th century, Ireland’s total land area under forest amounted to 1.5%, due to a number of political, social and economic activities from the 16th century onwards. With a history of deforestation, Ireland went under a considerable afforestation programme from 1949-88. However, an industrial approach was adopted, resulting in monoculture plantations dominated by the non-indigenous Sitka Spruce. This type of forest management is unstable and unsustainable and has had negative impacts on local employment and on the local landscape.

The potential in forestry is seen in long-term, permanent mixed species forests that benefits the local community economically and ecologically.

Created during ‘How To Flatten A Mountain’, a 10 day Residency at the Cow House Studios, this work responds to a monoculture plantation dominated by Sitka Spruce. It is concerned with photography’s assumed relationship with the ‘real’ and the role that the medium plays in the construction of the picturesque.

Picturesque landscapes of a monoclture plantation which may be perceived as ‘wild’ are crudely overlayed with images acting as metaphors for the problems associated with industrial forestry in Ireland, and which question this perceived reality.