Fairy Tree by Barry Hendrickson

Finding Fairy Trees

These lone hawthorn trees sprinkled throughout the Irish countryside are thought to be a sacred home for fairies. While we were traveling on the West side of Ireland, we kept finding these lone fairy trees. We were drawn to them.


What we learned that trees were worshipped in Ireland for centuries and most were believed to have magical or healing properties. For example Fairy trees, typically a Hawthorne, are found all over the countryside. Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. Stories are told that these trees are a favorite gathering place for fairies. Irish beliefs say never to disturb the home of the fairies or it will bring you bad luck.


When we Irish look at our history, our literature and poetry, our music and art, we find trees as part of our identity and expression.  Certain Hawthorne’s are considered sacred in Ireland. This respect for trees is a connection to when people lived and worked closer with the land, and a direct link to Ireland’s ancient Celtic beliefs.


Even today, these fairy trees are both feared and respected. As recently as 1999 in the town of Latoon, in County Clare a very expensive highway construction project was diverted, so it wouldn’t uproot a lone Hawthorne tree. It was believed if the tree was disturbed then everyone who drove on that road would have bad luck.


Own your Fairy Tree fine art photograph, purchase it in our on-line store. >

Fairy Tree

County Galway, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson, Printed by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson

© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography
Prints available in three sizes here >

Burren by Barry Hendrickson photography

The Burren

Western Ireland’s Limestone Landscape


Giant boulders are tumbled upon this bizarre, lunar-like landscape. Billowing clouds blow over the North Atlantic Ocean, this is the west coast of Ireland.


While we were traveling in County Clare, Barry captured this panorama with the ocean beyond. This place is called the “Burren” which comes from the Gaelic word “Boíreann” meaning a rocky place. A fitting name for so much stone. The bare exposed rocky land really was cool to see for me, because of how different it is from ‘the green’ I had expected to see in Ireland.


The Burren covers an area of 160 square km, in north County Clare and parts of south County Galway. This unusual landscape, which includes the Cliffs of Moher, has been designated a Geopark. The park educates visitors about conservation and the unique geological, floral and fauna you will find here. To learn more about the Burren, visit here. >

The Burren

County Clare, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson, Hendrickson Fine Art Photography
Available in our on-line store in two sizes. >


Claddagh by Barry Hendrickson photo

Claddagh, an Irish Icon



County Galway, Ireland

Barry Thomas Hendrickson, © Hendrickson Fine Art Photography


I learned about the Claddagh ring from my mother. It is a long lasting Irish symbol of love and faithfulness. The heart stands for love, the hands for friendship and the crown for loyalty.  My mother gave a Claddagh ring to each of her three daughters. So, I happily received my own Claddagh ring a few decades ago. I later learned that the ring is often used as a wedding ring, and how it is worn has meaning too. If the heart points inwards, you are spoken for, or when the heart is points away are open to a new love.


While Barry and I were visiting Galway City, we stumbled across this carving of the Claddagh. I just loved this stone representation of the ring I knew about for so long. Of course, Barry had to photograph it.


An interesting fact we learned was The Claddagh was not just a ring, but a place, too. Formerly, the Claddagh was an old fishing village, situated across the river and lying outside the old city walls of Galway.  Many stories about the Claddagh ring, going back centuries start from this place. Just adding more interest to this layered Irish symbol.


Claddagh fishing village

This old plate glass negative of the Claddagh village was taken between 1865 and 1910. Currently, the Claddagh is a suburb of Galway City, so nothing remains of these old thatched homes. If you love these old Ireland photos like I do, you can find more at the National Library of Ireland catalogue. >


The Claddagh (shown at top) — Barry’s black and white photographic rendering of this long-standing Irish symbol is a favorite, loved by family, friends and collectors.


Purchase your own Claddagh Fine Art Photograph in our on-line store. >

Ruins in the Valley, County Wicklow by Barry Hendrickson

Wandering the Wicklow Mountains

The Wicklow Mountains are not that far south of the city of Dublin. In the past centuries, these mountains were remote enough to have provide a refuge for opponents to the English rule. Rebels that took part in the 1798 Irish uprising, hid out in this region for years.


In 1800, the frustrated British started building a military road. This road was devised to help flush out the rebels, and in the end has only made this area more accessible. Currently, this winding road makes for a spectacular drive with many views of breathtaking scenery. 


While wandering though the Wicklow Mountains, Barry and I discovered these ruins. One can only imagine what this structure was used for in the past. Barry composed his photograph with the ruins front and center, over looking this stunning valley.


On a more recent note, the Wicklow Mountains have been used as a backdrop for hundreds of films. Some of the more well known productions are Excalibur, The Tudors, Ella Enchanted, P.S. I Love you, Michael Collins and Braveheart. Gazing at this landscape, it’s easy to see why films are shot here. 


If you’d like this artwork of the Ruins in the Valley for your home, it’s available in three sizes in our on-line store. >


Ruins in the Valley

County Wicklow, Ireland


A original fine art photo by Barry Thomas Hendrickson.
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

To learn more about these Irish film locations see: www.wicklowfilmcommission.com. >

Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland by Barry Thomas Hendrickson

Stone, Texture & Ancient History

Bring it on!

This photograph ties all of these elements — stone, texture and history — together.  These carved Romanesque arches are believed to be from the 12th century. Barry and I found them in Cormac’s Chapel, one of the older structures atop the Rock of Cashel. I just love how the black and white medium shows off the texture and composition. A common theme woven among our photos.


We were traveling from Dublin to Kinsale, when we saw this giant stone arising out of the Tipperary plains. Hard to miss and super cool was the Rock of Cashel (Caiseal Mumhan in Gaelic). This ancient site was a symbol of power for Kings who ruled over this region for over a thousand years. Many early Christians also were here, including the famous Saint Patrick.


If you are traveling across Ireland, do make a stop at Rock of Cashel. You won’t forget it! 


Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland (above)
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

Limited edition, fine art photos of this image available in 2 sizes in my on-line store. >


Another fine art photo taken at the Rock of Cashel: 

Kings of Cashel, Co Tipperary, Ireland

Kings of Cashel, Co Tipperary, Ireland

Kings of Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
Printed by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

Limited edition, fine art photos are available in 3 sizes in my on-line store. >

St Benens Church Hendrickson Fine Art Photo

Desert in the Sea

It is an adventure to journey to the Aran Islands. These rugged islands are found in Western Ireland, in County Galway. Having heard stories of these islands, Barry and I couldn’t wait to visit. We took the ferry from Rossaveal to visit Inishmore, the largest of the three islands. We were prepared to leave our car behind. When exploring this island sprinkled with ancient stone sites, it is necessary to bike, hike or take a pony and trap.


Our trip on Inishmore was in October, often a cold and windy time of year. But we had lots of sun, glorious sun. Barry however, was frustrated by photographing in all of that super bright sun. It was reflecting off the limestone landscape was making for bright and over exposed shots. I remember a local Irish guide in a lilting accent saying, “You are the only person on this whole island, who is cursing the sun!”


We had stayed in Kilronan, near the port. One day we took to exploring the southern part by bicycle. We soon discovered St. Benen’s Church, sitting atop a limestone hill. It cuts a striking silhouette against the skyline.


Although I have to say, calling this building ‘church’ didn’t seem to fit, as it is really small — measuring about 7 x 11 feet in size. It is an intimate place, almost like your own personal chapel. These medieval walls are almost perfectly preserved and are built from large limestone blocks.


Just below the hill, you can see the remains of the Early Christian monastic village started by St. Enda. I find the history of early Christianity fascinating. How believers like St. Edna sought out these remote places — these “deserts in the sea” — to seek solitude, prayer and live an austere life. During three hundred years from about 500 to 800, Inishmore and the sister islands were a famous center for sanctity and learning. This place attracted believers from all parts of Ireland to study the science of the saints in this remote school of the West. 


This photograph brings me back to that remote and rugged landscape, and our adventure in that sacred and austere place.



St. Benen’s Church (Teampall Bheanáin) Shown Above
 Aran Islands, County Galway, Ireland
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography


Limited Edition Fine Art Photos of St. Benen’s Church are available in three sizes here. >



Traveling to Aran Islands?
 I’d recommend the hospitality of the Flaherty’s found at the Aran Islands Hotel. They also have a great map of the island Inishmore on their website.  www.aranislandshotel.com


Stone Fence fine art photo

Stone Fence

Weaving their way across Ireland

Visiting Ireland for the first time, or third or the tenth time…. it is easy to notice the miles of stone fences that criss-cross over the countryside. My husband Barry and I saw many of them when traveling in County Galway in western Ireland.
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It made me wonder. How did these stone fences come to be? These structures are said to be hundreds of years old. Some of them are even documented as being thousands of years old in County Mayo. It is hard to imagine all of the hard labor in pulling stones and piling them up, to make way and clear the land for farming. It seems like a practical solution to make  some walls and property borders from all those rocks. The most stone fences are in western and southern Ireland, where the soil is poor and stone plentiful.

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I have always like this image. It is one of my favorites. The rugged piles of stones draw your eye up and into the forlorn, windswept tree. That tree still standing through years of strong weather, resilient, yet shaped and curved by the wind. This image tells the story of Ireland. [eltdf_separator class_name=”” type=”transparent” position=”center” thickness=”25px” ] 

Stone Fence, Co. Galway
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

Limited edition prints available in three sizes. See our shop link here >.

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"No Irish Need Apply" by Hendrickson Fine Art Photography 2019

No Irish Need Apply

How Soon We Forget

I usually like to spend a great amount of time working on an image before revealing it. However, I feel compelled by recent events to show the photograph here in its preliminary stage. Tacked to the wall of a pub is a sign, surrounded by currency from all parts of the world.  It states “Help Wanted – No Irish Need Apply.”
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My ancestors were Irish immigrants. They faced this kind of discrimination here in the United States. This sign would have been directed at them. The shunning of immigrants is not a new issue. This has been going on a long time.
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The Irish Potato Famine sent over a million of Irish fleeing this small country. Many of those refugees were desperately poor and suffering from starvation. My own Irish ancestors came to America during the famine years to save themselves, to find a new life.
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During those years of heavy Irish immigration (1845 – 1852) there was strong anti-Irish sentiment and many negative Irish stereotypes prevailed. Those with Irish accents or Irish names, were barred from housing and employment opportunities. Signs like this one photographed by Barry were common.
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The United States is a nation of immigrants. How soon we forget. A generation or two will go by, and we will have figured out how to fit in. We have found some comfort and gained our own stability. So perhaps, we don’t recognize in those refugees today, our own ancestors. The needs, the hopes and the dreams are the same.
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I hope this image can help us remember the past and our own ancestors,  and in doing so, find ways to help new immigrants and refugees who seek asylum here, feel welcome.  
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A sign often found in my Minneapolis, Minnesota neighborhood.

No Irish Need Apply

An image by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson from the photo archives of the late Barry Hendrickson.

Take a look at the No Irish Need Apply prints for sale here >

If this subject interests you, here is some more detailed articles: 

“When America despised the Irish, the 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis.” on History.com >


This article gives a brief overview of the potato famine and Irish immigration. > 

“Why historians are fighting about “No Irish Need Apply” signs — and why it matters” >

What is it about Ireland?

Have you ever heard about a place, a country, a land for years? Something that sounds so wonderful, the anticipation to travel there is so great?

That place for me has been Ireland. Ever since I can remember the fact that I was Irish was a good thing, a special source of pride. My mom’s side of the family is very passionate about their Irish heritage. This love of Ireland shows up around holidays, family gatherings, wedding and funerals. Traditional Irish songs, and wearing of the green are common and expected. St Patrick’s Day is a reason to take off work and get together with our very large clan of relatives.


I am asked when I am showing my fine art photos, “Why are your photos only of Ireland?” This is the reason.


This love of this unknown land was ingrained in me at an early age. So of course, I wanted to visit the my ancestors country for many years. When others were able to travel there it was exciting news, with stories and pictures to share.


My mother Elaine was able to take her trip to Ireland in 1989. She was made the voyage with one of her sisters and some friends. They returned with photos, stories and mementos. My mother remembers visiting Kylemore Abbey on one of well-known rainy Irish days. She loved being able to tour inside of this Victorian castle, a place of rich history and beauty.


Decades later, I finally got to follow in her footsteps, and travelled to Ireland with my husband Barry. I got to experience the kind Irish people, and to touch upon a sense of my past relations. I went to see Kylemore Abbey,  a Victorian Castle nestled against the woods, in the heart of the Connemara Mountains. To see the beauty of the Abbey reflected in the lake and have it captured in a photograph, it was with a remembrance and a sense of gratitude that I was able to make it here as well. To see this beloved land for myself.




Kylemore Abbey

County Galway, Ireland


A new release by Nancy Wojack Hendrickson from the photo archives of the late Barry Hendrickson. Limited edition fine art photographs available in three sizes.

$246 | $163 | $65 Purchase your own fine art photograph>

To plan your own trip to Kylemore Abbey and the Victorian Gardens visit their website.> 

The Rosses, County Donegal, Ireland by Barry Hendrickson © Hendrickson Fine Art Photography

The Ebbs and Flows

The Rosses

(In Irish: Na Rosa)

County Donegal, Ireland


The inlets from the sea are fascinating for me. You see, I am from Minnesota, a land locked region situated in center of the United States. We have plenty of water, thousands of lakes and also some rivers. But we don’t have the sea. So no, we don’t have tides. High tides, low tides, none of that. So visiting Ireland, a country encircled with sea was an amazing visual treat.


When Barry and I were traveling in Ireland, we loved taking all of the roads that outlined the coast. This day’s journey lead us into the northwestern region of County Donegal. Suddenly we came upon a boat just siting there, alone in this vast stretch of sand. As you can see from the photograph, it was striking. Did someone forget their boat? Were they caught off guard?   


Tides are about coming and going, and that requires patience. Stick around and the water will come up. Eventually the sea will rise, and again your boat will be adrift on the water.  It sounds a bit like life huh? The ebbs and flows. Here and there. The before and the after.  I am still learning these lessons of patience. 


So wait and see … yes, this boat will soon be navigating the water again.


“The Rosses” – a limited edition, fine art photograph is available in three sizes.

See here for more info. >


Hendrickson Fine Art Photography
Shows & Events


Tiny Gallery  – an exhibit in downtown Minneapolis

Come and see “The Rosses” up close. Four of our photos were selected to be displayed with some other fine photographers works at The Tiny Gallery at NordHaus Apartments.  More Information >


Celtic Junction Arts Center

The lobby of this Irish cultural center in Saint Paul is exhibiting our Hendrickson Fine Art photography. Find times and directions here >


Fall Art Crawl 

October 12, 13 and 14  Save these dates for the Saint Paul Art Crawl. I will be exhibiting at the Schmidt Artists Lofts in the Bottle House.