I’m a photographer and researcher, born and raised in the Boyne Valley but now living in Wicklow. For over fifteen years I’ve combined my passion for photography with an equal fascination with archaeology, exploring the prehistoric sites and archaeological literature of the Atlantic Façade of Western Europe. This project, under the working title of ‘Shadows and Stone’, has taken me from the Orkney Islands off the tip of Scotland, to Andalucia in Southern Spain, via the megalithic heritage of England and Wales, Brittany, Galicia and Portugal.
My particular interests are in prehistoric art and architecture, and in particular how these blend with astronomical, cultural and sensory experiences. I work closely with archaeologists to produce imagery and insights which, in some small way, enhance our knowledge and appreciation of prehistoric sites and landscapes. Along with Anthony Murphy of MythicalIreland.com, our discovery of an unprecedented complex of previously unknown major prehistoric monuments in the Boyne Valley below Newgrange made global headlines. The resulting publicity led to the discovery of previously unrecorded monuments across the country.
Pioneering specialist photographic lighting techniques for documenting prehistoric art over a decade ago has resulted in the discovery of previously unknown megalithic art at some of Ireland’s most prominent archaeological sites. More recently, I co-authored a paper with Dr. Elizabeth Shee Twohig, former Head of Dept. of Archaeology at UCC which integrated more traditional recording methods with photo-realistic 3D photogrammetry. This allowed the creation of a more immersive 3D virtual environment than that produced by the more dominant laser scanning techniques used at that time.
Over the last decade I’ve collaborated on various projects and research papers particularly related to the passage tombs of Ireland and the lesser known open air rock carvings of the Neolithic/Bronze Age. Much of this work is available for download on my Academia.edu page.
These projects include photography for Volume 6 of the series of archaeological reports on the excavations at Knowth: “The Passage Tomb Archaeology of the Great Mound of Knowth” and Volume 7 on the megalithic art at Knowth which is currently in preparation. I’m currently assisting the partnership between Devenish Nutrition and University College Dublin on the Dowth Hall excavations, helping to document the incredible discovery of a major, previously unknown, passage tomb complex within the grounds of the 18th Century house. This involves recording of features using photography and both airborne and ground based photogrammetry.
Previously I’ve worked with archeologists from UCD on the Wicklow Rock Art Project and also produced a report on the digital analysis of the megalithic art discovered during the Hellfire Club Archaeological Project, which revealed fascinating traces of a ruined passage tomb.
I have exhibited photographs at the World Archaeological Congress held at UCD in Dublin in 2008, and in various solo and group exhibitions around Ireland over the past decade. Most recently, the Côa Valley Archaeological Park exhibited my photographs of the paleolithic rock carvings found there at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Discovery of Peking Man in China.
For the soon to be launched new visitor exhibition centre at the Knowth Passage Tomb Complex, I have contributed dozens of photographs of the megalithic art for the multi-media installation. This innovative presentation will showcase my photographs of the decorated stones at life size or larger on a giant multi-panel display.