Artists Eye: Man Digging Peat

Man Cutting Turf
Man Cutting Peat by Elizabeth Holder

On her annual trips to Ireland, Elizabeth Holder keeps her camera close at hand to capture images like this. She took this photo on her way to the old Coast Guard Station and light house on the island of Arainn Mhor (Arranmore) near Rinawros Point in County Donegal. In it we see a local man harvesting turf using the old-fashioned tools.

After her next visit, Elizabeth hopes to have collected enough stunning photos to compile a book of her favorites images of the Emerald Isle.


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Artists Eye on IrelandIn this feature, we highlight artists who use Ireland or their Irish heritage as inspiration.

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Author: Corey

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  1. I love this! What a beautiful photo, really captures the feeling.

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  2. I really love this picture! So pretty.

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  3. Great photo! I love the clarity of the foreground with the hazy background. It also looks like he has no idea or care about someone taking his photograph. A man and his turf 🙂

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  4. I want to “clamp” some turf wid me “slane”, I do.

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  5. I can smell the turf burning in the fireplace now. Great composition and color.

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  6. Just a classic picture…..great lighting…the kind of photo that defines the moment.

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  7. Congratulations Elizabeth – this of all your photos I have seen so far is definitely a favorite, along with the one of that boat hull.

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  8. What a beautiful photograph. Thanks, Elizabeth. I spend lots of winter evenings by my fireside in Corca Dhuibhne (the Dingle peninsula, and one of the great joys of wintertime is the smell of the ‘black turf’. That’s the stuff locally cut from the bog, as opposed to the commercially available briquettes, which come in neat, oblong, machine cut bales, stamped BNM, for Bord Na Mona. The black turf’s very different – dark, slender sods, still holding the mark of the slane, crumbling at the edges, burning away to deeply-glowing embers, and sinking into heavy, silky ash at the end of the night. We use the ash to cover the last of the fire overnight (it’s called ‘smooring’) and in the morning, when you brush it away, you can light the next day’s fire from the embers of the last one.

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  9. Kind of reminds me of “The Gleaners”…a painting by Jean-François Millet which hung in my Grandmother’s house!

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