Frankie McAllister is a London based photographer from Northern Ireland. She works primarily in remote, urban and industrial scenes in a style somewhere on the convergence of landscape and documentary photography. She has a particular interest in altered landscapes and the influence of man on nature, especially in fragile regions and seeks out those random scenes, natural or otherwise, that appear to have been arranged almost as tableaux.
“These images are an extract from Dividing Lines, a project about the Irish Border and the impact of Brexit on the border region across both sides. It arose from my last visit to Donegal in June 2019, a time of argument across the whole of the UK about what Brexit would really mean. Brexit has created division among sections of the population in the United Kingdom generally, but nowhere are the questions more critical and divisive than in Ireland and on no situation has there been more claim and counter claim, confusion and vagueness in the various attempts to square the seemingly un-squareable circle.
Borders become dividing lines in a number of different ways – separating one group of people from another, allocating land to one side or another or creating different sets of rules or standards – yet they don’t exist in geography, they are an artificial construct and, you might say, arbitrary. The Irish border like many politically imposed borders, is an anomaly geographically speaking. This northern-most part of the whole island of Ireland is in the Republic, i.e. southern Ireland and the twisting turning course of the border touches ten different counties across both countries.
This is one of those situations where the one-dimensional arguments, the rhetoric, the abstract ideas, the ignorance, the failure of people to take into account cause and effect, become real and three dimensional, creating unwanted change and damage in real places among real flesh and blood people. Donegal is one of the ten border counties that will be affected, the northern-most and one of the most rugged.