Rebecca Brownlie Abandoned Ireland


Code 9781785374326

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Abandoned Ireland travels the length and breadth of the island of Ireland visiting and documenting our forgotten buildings, highlighting their social importance, and bringing their stories back to life through the medium of photography.

From Big Houses to humble cottages, schools to prisons, churches to dance halls, these buildings may now be abandoned, but they are far from empty. As a photographer, Brownlie’s instincts are remarkable. In the seemingly ruined and mundane she finds diamonds in the rough; her images of the ordinary ephemera of past lives – dusty love letters, rusting spectacles, photographs yellowed and curled with age – paint the pictures of real people and full lives.

Rebecca Brownlie’s photography reverberates with the echoes of our ancestors. Bursting with engaging and often surprising details, each haunting photograph is an invitation to immerse yourself in history, and an Ireland long gone.

Rebecca Brownlie grew up in a small rural village in County Down, Northern Ireland. When she was just twelve years old, she won her first camera on a TV game show and her love of photography was sparked. From that day on, a camera is rarely far from her side. Her passion for abandoned buildings and love of photography have led her to appear on several local television shows featuring some of Ireland’s lost buildings. She is an avid adventurer, and can be regularly found hiking up mountainsides with her four-legged friend and children in tow.

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‘The author is interested above all, one senses, in the grain of day-to-day life: in the stories and power retained by detritus and everyday objects – the crucifix on the wall, the dusty piano, assorted books, the bottle of cod liver oil – even amid the desolation of abandonment. And more than anything, Brownlie’s tremendously evocative photographs tell and amplify such stories of materiality, and of buildings poised trembling between life and death.’ – Neil Hegarty, The Irish Times.

‘The images are captivating … she has a natural eye for composition, and a talent for picking out features of interest, whether that’s highlighting the breathtaking architectural aspects of a building, or honing in on the sights that tell the stories of the forgotten lives within.’ – Chrissie Russell, The Sunday Independent.

‘. . . Abandoned Ireland is packed with beautiful, evocative pictures of neglected buildings which now serve as crumbling time capsules of days past. Here, photographer Rebecca Brownlie explains how a fascination for seeking out haunted houses evolved into an ongoing quest to document decaying dwellings and their often fascinating histories…’ – The Independent.

‘Rebecca Brownlie’s beautiful photographic catalogue. . . provides food for thought in a multitude of ways.’ – Michael Duggan, The Irish Examiner.


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