Frankie McAllister is a London based photographer originally from Northern Ireland, working mostly on remote, urban and industrial scenes in a style somewhere between landscape and documentary photography. She has a particular interest in the influence of man on nature, especially in fragile regions (and the signs of nature reclaiming the manmade) as well as the seemingly random way scenes, both natural and ‘constructed’, appear to arrange themselves as visual tableaux. Past and ongoing projects include ‘Manipulated Landscapes, Winter playgrounds’ about the impact of tourism on rural mountain areas, ‘Corridor’ a project about the in-between and anonymous parts of cities; and currently Dividing Lines, a ‘work in progress’ project about Donegal in Ireland.
“These images are an extract from Dividing Lines which arose from my last visit to Donegal in June last year, amidst a time of argument across the whole of the UK about what Brexit would really mean. Brexit has created division amongst whole 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 and yet they don’t exist in geography – they are entirely man-made 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 amongst 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.