Inishark Light Returns

“Light Returns" is a light art concept that featured light projections and light installations on the uninhabited island of Inishark.

The small island has been uninhabited since the 1960s and is located at the west coast of the Republic Ireland in County Galway. Artistic light projections at buildings and interior elements was in the focus of the project. Another focal point was the projection of historical pictures. “Light Returns” tells the reverse process from a photographic exposure to a light projection. The photographic documentation made targeted use of the remaining daylight at dusk anto create a balance of perception between projection and environment.


Theresa Larcey and Husband

Projection of a section of an old photograph at the original site at dawn. The photograph was taken at Inishark Pier as Theresa Larcey and her husband were on their way to the boat that would take them to land on the day of the evacuation on 21th October 1960. The projection brought the section of the photograph back to the place where the photograph was taken.


Thomas Larcey´s House

Projection of a section of an old photograph at the original location at dawn. The photograph was taken in the Larcey´s house during the evacuation on 21th October 1960. The door frame with Thomas Larcey was projected onto backed wooden panels in the ruins.

Building No.9 on map below.


Inishark School

The original photograph was taken when a schoolgirl visited Inishark School for the last time on the day of the evacuation on 21th October 1960. For the projection, approximately the same position was chosen as the photographer had when he took the pictures.

Building No.3 on map below.


Waiting Woman

The photo was taken on the day of the evacuation on 21th October 1960 as a woman waited in front of her house with her household utensils to be picked up.The perspective of the projection corresponded to the viewing angle of the photographer at the time. The photographer was standing further back where there is now a field of nettles.

Building No.11 on map below.


Fisherman in Thomas Lacey´s House

Projection of a historical picture at the original place of made in the soft lighted ruin of Thomas Lacey´s House. The photo was made after the island was evacuated, while fisherman stayed at the island during a storm.(Historical image by Island Places, Island Live - Exploring Inishbofin and Inishark Heritage, Co. Galway, Ireland)

Building No.9 on map below.


Chimney Theresa Larceys House

Another work was realised in Theresa Larcey's birthplace. The projection coloured the original structure of the chimney in a dimly lit room. The additional room lighting acted as a balance between the projection and the interior.

Building No.1 on map below.


Transparent Building

A section of the landscape was projected onto the façade of a building which was covered by the building itself. The landscape section was photographed at the same time as the projection onto the building. By subsequently adjusting the colour and precisely adjusting the exposure time of the documentary camera, it was possible to capture an illusion of transparency.

Building No.7 on map below.


Light at home

A projection was used to simulate the interior lighting of this ruin, with beams of light appearing to come from the door and windows. A powerful video projector positioned by the house created this effect in the evening.

Building No.13 on map below.



Inishark Map & Buildings



This satellite photo shows numbers of residential buildings constructed early in the 20th century, the national school, and the Leo's Church which was constructed in 1894. Most of these residential buildings were inhabited until the evacuation in October 1960. Since then the buildings has been washed out of the rain and storm. Today all buildings are predominantly collapsed.
1 Teresa Larcey´s birthhouse



Island Impressions