This exhibition features the winning entries from the 2023 National Fossil Photo Contest. The contest invited people across Ireland to photograph an Irish fossil in a natural or an urban environment. The rocks of Ireland contain fossils of many ancient creatures, including plants, shellfish, sharks, amphibians and even dinosaurs. The fossils depicted in the photographs in this exhibition are pictured in situ in their current locations. Collectively, these encompass both urban and natural environments in counties Cork, Galway, Roscommon, Wexford, Sligo and Kerry.
The entries were considered by a judging panel that included professional photographers and scientists. The judges considered many elements of the photographs, including composition, lighting, colour, texture, setting, identifiability of the fossil(s) and difficulty in photographing the fossil(s).
The photo exhibition is on display in Cork City Library, Cork Airport and the Frank O’Connor Library in Mayfield during the month of July.
Dr Jess Franklin, science engagement officer with the programme, said, “We received entries that featured many different kinds of fossils from all over Ireland. The submissions were considered by a judging panel that included professional photographers and scientists, and all judges applauded the high quality of submissions. The top three winners are very special pieces and we are pleased that the decision to award these prizes was unanimous.”
Professor Maria McNamara, Professor of Palaeontology at UCC and head of the Ireland’s Fossil Heritage programme, said, “We were blown away by the level of public interest. We’re really lucky to have lots of fossils here in Ireland and it’s wonderful to see how many people notice them in our rocks and buildings. The artworks in the exhibition really capture the beauty and intrigue of fossils, which are truly fascinating objects as they are links to our ancient past.”
The winners of the contest are: 1st place - Molli Buckley, 2nd place - Jose Fernando Marques, 3rd place - Chris Krysztof Czyz. Highly Commended - Donal Buckley, Owen Dunbar, Hollie Bean, Dirleane Rossato, Fernanda Correia Silva, Kevin Sanderson, Karen McManus.