What is the Legacy Project?
The Legacy project is a fascinating not-for-profit endeavour to capture the mystifying stone remains of prehistoric sites scattered across the British Isles. Ancient stone circles are a remarkable legacy of Neolithic Britain, their shadowy origins stirring the hushed whispers of fables and legends throughout the ages.
Escape with Jason Friend on an eloquent photographic journey that pays homage not only to the prehistoric remnants of a lost civilisation, but to the soul of a landscape immersed in mystery and wonder - a journey that aims to raise public awareness of these precious ancient monuments, and to assist in their preservation for future generations.
The Legacy project is the realisation of an idea that was inspired many years ago - it was Jason’s early visits to these sites that sparked his initial desire to learn photography. Spellbound by the power these archaic stone remnants wield across the landscape, Jason longed to capture the essence of these mysterious locations on film. This would take him on an incredible journey that would eventually lead to a career as a renowned professional landscape photographer.
Moving beyond a mere appreciation of the aesthetic, the aim of The Legacy Project is not simply to record the physical structure of these stone circles, but to instil a complete emotional experience which conveys the ethereal nature of these megalithic sites. Through this photographic journey, Jason wants the ancient spirit of the landscape to wash over you – for you to think, to feel, to imagine what once took place where the stones remain.
In order to capture the stark and dramatic tone of these mystical landscapes, the project is being shot entirely in black and white using a mixture of infrared film, and infrared converted digital cameras. Traditional photography equipment will also be used to produce images taken during extreme long exposures (sometimes exceeding 10 minutes) to portray a sense of passing time, hinting at the trove of secrets the stone circles have held throughout the ages.
To date, the Legacy Project has led Jason along a fascinating path of discovery across the stunning British countryside, including visits to historical sites in the Orkney Islands, Western Isles, Isle of Arran, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Derbyshire, Cumbria, and Northumberland.
Why am I running this campaign?
Earlier this year I ran a successful campaign to raise funds for the first Legacy exhibition (which was held at the Joe Cornish Gallery in Northallerton) and to help fund a trip to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
For a while now I have dreamed of visiting Ballynoe and a number of other Irish sites including the mystical Ancient Temple of Newgrange. In his book ‘Rings of Stone ‘, Aubrey Burl suggested that Ballynoe Stone Circle may have had direct links with Swinside Stone Circle in Cumbria. He suggests that there may have been a prehistoric sea route from Dundrum Bay (2 miles from Ballynoe) to Duddo Sands on the West Coast of Cumbria. It can not be denied that there are distinct similarities in the construction of Swinside and Ballynoe, which is incredible if you consider that both sites could have been constructed by the same people who had to travel the Irish Sea in prehistoric boats some 5000 years ago.
Enough funds were raised to visit a handful of Irish sites including Ballynoe, Newgrange and Drombeg. I had hoped to raise more funds through the exhibition to increase the amount of sites that I visited in Ireland. However, whilst the exhibition was a great success and did have several sales, it still did not manage to cover its operating costs.
So whilst the Ireland trip is definitely going ahead (ferries and campsites are all booked and paid for!), I am unsure as to how many more sites I will be able to visit. Anything extra will be funding dependant.
The main problem is that once I started to fully research the prehistoric stone circles and other sites scattered across Ireland, I quickly began to compile a rather large list of potential locations! One area in particular is of great interest: The Beara Peninsula. There are a number of important sites scattered along this peninsula that I would love to cover on this trip for the Legacy Project. The reality is though that I may not be able to visit if I can not raise the funds required to cover the extra travel costs.
Risks and challenges
Ultimately the major risk to this project is lack of funding to allow me to visit as many sites as possible during my visit to Ireland.
However, there are no real ongoing concerns once the project has received funding. Perhaps the only concern would be the British weather but thankfully these monuments have survived for over 5000 years and I am more than happy to wait for the perfect conditions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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