David Spence

David Spence portrait by David Michalek

David Spence portrait by David Michalek

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.


Vanishing Memories

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. 


2 thoughts on “David Spence

  1. Eileen Wynne says:

    As Philip Larkin wrote “Life is slow dying” Nothing more tragic than loss . Time will not heal me. Has it healed you ? Hope so !

  2. Eileen Wynne says:

    Hi david … all my old personal photos when i look at them, feel like that time , that person, that event is something in the past , lost forever.i understand that you feel that real sense of loss when you take in the gorgeous landscapes and then read those scientific and government reports about this scary hydraulic fracking and try to imagine the future landscape of places you love , post all of it ??please dont enhance these images further as it feels too much as if you are pushing your own mortality on .For me you are and always will remain, beautiful. I am feeling sad for a landscape i never knew . God bless David XX


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