ARTWALL 2018: Brian Farrell

ARTWALL 2018: Brian Farrell

in Archive
Brian Farrell is a freelance photojournalist based in the Northwest. His work appears regularly in national, international and local newspapers. Since 2003 Brian has lived on the borders of Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon having left Dublin following a career as a staff photographer and photo editor with Independent Newspapers. His work in the Northwest is very much based on life in the region and is often in collaboration with the journalist and Irish Times contributor Marese McDonagh. Besides his photojournalism, Brian has also developed work doing production photography with theatre groups, musicians, writers and community groups. He is also a contributor to the RTE Radio 1 programme, Sunday Miscellany.
In 2017 Leitrim County Council presented Brian with a Leitrim Arts Award in recognition of his “outstanding contribution to the arts”. That same year he was selected as Artist in the Community through the Leitrim Arts Office programme and collaborated with the Mohill Photography club on a very successful project titled Portrait of an Irish town. Brian has won several Press Photographers awards in the portrait, arts, picture essay and politics categories. His immense talent for story telling is not only evident through his visual images but is also beautifully expressed through the written word.
In 2020, The Leitrim Design House invited Brian Farrell to co-create a photography book entitled Leitrim: A Creative Landscapecapturing Leitrim's rich creative community within their landscape, with the aim of drawing out how a place inspires creativity and creativity enriches a place and the people within it.
The Lake By Brian Farrell

I’m a blow-in and like all visitors, I knew it as Lough Arrow but now, like all around here, I call it The Lake. We talk of it as often as we talk of the weather and watch it hourly, to see the mood of the day. It’s much more than a body of water. It’s a link to a time passed. A reminder of  those gone before us who saw then what we see now and wondered the same, about Winter height and Summer flies, comparing year on year.

It is the matriarch and patriarch of us all. It’s my elder being. It’s so welcoming on days you want to submerge yourself in it and be wrapped up by it. Other days, it can be snappy enough and leaves us out on the edge. It has depth and knowledge and caters for the needs of a myriad. Life which starts and ends on its waters and life which travels half way around the world to be nourished by it. It understands them all and gives something to each.

I never planned to photograph The Lake and still don’t, but sometimes I think the reflection of the last light of the evening is delaying just for me and I’m so thankful I try to capture it. That’s my favourite time. After the Sun has set and stray light lingers wanting to play a little longer.

I know it doesn’t want to go and I don’t blame it so I wait for as long as it’s willing to stall. Until it slips over the hill, over the passage tombs of Carrowkeel, past Kesh Corran and Knocknarea and across the Atlantic and races to catch up with morning in America.

Sometimes it looks back and always, as I walk back up the hill to our house, I look back too because though the light is gone the lake is still there.