Launch Event: ‘An Dairbhre’, its sights and sounds

Thursday, 13 August 2020

Available from 7.00pm | Online event

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Donation Total: 10.00€

Please note

This event is a pre-recorded event and will be broadcast on this page at the stated date and time above. All of our 2020 Festival events will remain on our website after the initial release, for our audience members to come back and enjoy it again. 

This event can happen at your own pace and in two parts…

Part one

My concept for this video was to show the extreme edges of Valentia Island, covering the north, south, east and west coastlines. The idea came from my own sense of feeling quite cut-off and isolated at times, particularly during the current pandemic.

I wanted to emphasis the sense of being surrounded by water and also the make-up of the Island itself. I tried to do this through the opening sequence, which is quite abstract and includes shots of the water, the land, and the slate which is an important feature of Valentia. The video starts and ends with the Atlantic Ocean, at different ends of the island, with a still shot of the whole island superimposed over the water at the end. 

It is a multimedia video, using drone photography, still photography and a time-lapse sequence of the clouds. This short sequence took 5 hours to shoot, on a DSLR camera with an intervalometer. I also incorporated video from a helmet-cam, which I use when out and about on my little Honda 50. I superimposed shots of sheep and cattle taken with this camera, onto the cloud sequence, to stress the importance of farming to the islanders. 

It was important for me to cut the video to match the wonderful music by Deirdre McKay. I have tried to create scene changes that work with dramatic points in the music and sequences that reflected my interpretation of the sounds. For example, there is a sequence of religious icons – a standing stone, St. Brendan’s Well and across at the old cemetery – cut to match what I took to be Gregorian chanting. In the cloud time-lapse, I have cut the sequence to show a double rainbow at the point where the music hits a crescendo.

Stephen Power

Video: Stephen Power
Music: Deirdre Mckay; ‘Dieppe’, performed by National Chamber Choir and Celso Antunes (conductor) from Contemporary Music from Ireland, Volume 8 (…)

Part two

These are still images of Valentia’s ‘interior’ taken to complete the video, which focuses on its coastlines. The island has always struck me as a ‘timeless’ place, almost anachronistic, and I wanted to reflect this in the photographs, particularly those of the standing stones and old structures.

I used an old Zeiss Ikon Nettar camera made around 1959. It is an extremely basic camera, with no way of focusing or metering the image, through the lens. The exposure is set by using a hand-held light meter, and the focus is made with an additional ‘rangefinder’ that gives an approximation of the distance from the camera to the subject. The meter reading, aperture and shutter speed, and the distance are then set on the camera manually, using sliders around the lens. The images produced, on black and white film, are slightly soft and faded and generally grey in tone, which matches the theme. I developed the film myself, and ’digitized’ the negatives into my computer for processing, using my DSLR camera, and a light table, rather than a scanner. I then converted the images from negative to positive and added contrast and sharpening, using Adobe Lightroom software. 

The music composed by Deirdre McKay and performed wonderfully by Mary Dullea really compliments the photographs and suits the timeless theme perfectly. 

Stephen Power

Photography and Video: Stephen Power
Music: Deirdre Mckay; ‘time shining’, performed by Mary Dullea (piano) and recorded specially for Chamber Music on Valentia (concert performance can be heard here:…)

About the event

As part of our series of digital events for 2020, we were delighted to announce a call for applications from Kerry-based creators (mixed media/video/sound art/composition/performance) to create a digital work for our launch event.

The theme for this installation is  ‘An Dairbhre’, its sights and sounds.  

Particularly as we are in this time of relative ‘quietness’, this is an opportune period for creative artists to engage with the sights and sounds of Valentia Island and create a ‘Digital Installation’.  

We are excited to announce that award-winning photographer and Valentia resident, Stephen Power, has been selected to respond to the theme, ‘AN DAIRBHRE’, its sights and sounds.

About the creator

Stephen Power

Stephen Power is an award-winning professional photographer, writer, and photography teacher, originally from the UK and happily living in Ireland for over 20 years.

Read more