Fangan is an ongoing work by Carolyne Mazur, recording the stone built fanks of Mull, Iona and surrounding islands.

A fank is a structure built of stone in which to pen and handle sheep. The size of a fank often reflects the number of sheep in its hirsel*.

In the 1830s Mull had a population of around 10,000. By the 1880’s it was less than 4,000. What happened in between was a horrific period of great suffering and adversity. The islands experienced several years of potato famine, the collapse of the kelp industry and the Clearances where thousands of men, women and children were removed, often forcibly, from their homes and transported across the world or relocated locally without choice.

Carolyne began by photographing a neighbour’s fank. He was retiring, ending a deep family connection with that parcel of land, and who knew what the future for the farm, the fank, the land would be. She took photographs to acknowledge that sense of place, initially not making the connection between the fanks and the Clearances.

In the photographing of over 50 stone fanks on Mull and surrounding islands, Carolyne began to understand the huge changes that these structures marked, and realised that they told a story that needs to be heard. These photographs are the beginning of telling that story, of recognising the complex history these fanks represent.

*Hirsel – the land grazed by a particular flock of sheep

  • Venue

    FLOW Photofest Wall @ Eden Court Theatre

  • Address

    Eden Court, Bishop’s Road, Inverness IV3 5SA