Alan Tobin

By administrator, 20 July, 2023
Samples of work
Alan Tobin- Buaile Shot 1 Alan Tobin- Buaile Shot 2 Alan Tobin- Buaile Shot 3

Artist Biography

Artist Biography

I am a photographic artist living beneath the Galtee mountains in the Glen of Aherlow. My images explore the social, economic and agricultural history of human settlement in the Galtee mountains, and strive to generate introspection on our relationship with natural landscapes. I hold an MA in Photography from London Metropolitan University. 

Artistic Practice 

In 2023, I’m focusing on evidence of “booleying” - the Irish term for transhumance - in the Galtee Mountains. Transhumance is defined as “the action or practice of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer.” By moving into the uplands for the summer months, herders took advantage of seasonal growth at higher altitudes, while simultaneously freeing up space for the growing of crops back home. 

What fascinates me most about this practice is the semi-nomadic nature of it. A key feature of booleying is that the herders actually moved up into the uplands with the animals and lived in small dwellings known as booley huts during the summer months, only returning to the homestead with the animals when summer had ended. There is lots of evidence of booley huts still visible in the Galtee mountains, which I have been visiting and photographing as part of this ongoing project.

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