David Spence graduated in fne art and worked as a teacher and a model engineer, eventually moved to Ireland and became involved with community development and the use of art as a mechanism for societal change.
By David Spence
The likelihood of this region becoming an industrialised gas extraction zone for the next 10 to 20 years and the permanent high density scaring of the landscape that will result from this industrialisation, got me considering my own photographic record of the changes this area has seen over my lifetime.
Having photographed the area around where I live in Glencar, Co. Leitrim since I first got a camera, a Kodak Instamatic 100, sometime around 1971. I have built an archive of images that are now slowly decaying as they have a home in a box in a damp shed. The images records both changes in farming styles and human occupancy as well as an essential constancy within the landscape. The losses to decay of these images began to sum up for me, the sense of loss I feel as I read the scientific and government reports about hydraulic fracking, and imagine the new landscape this will bring.
I pulled out my old photos both recorded as paper prints and as slide film and began selecting ones that resonated most with me as something that will be lost forever. Some of these photos have become badly decayed, while others are still in reasonable condition. However for my purposes I wanted to express the loss and breakdown of my environment so enhanced the artefacts of decay through photoshop manipulation. As such they bear the scars of an imagined chemically polluted future speeding up the process already well advanced naturally in some of these images.