Sunday, 7 December 2008


Harry Kerr is originally from Scotland and has been living in Inishowen for 8 years with Martha, his wife and business partner. Before moving to Buncrana Harry, worked as a graphic designer and photographer for Scotland’s largest Museum, the Summer Lee Heritage Trust before moving on to become a Technical Instructor for fine art at the Glasgow School of Art. He and Martha now run the highly respected Memory Factory Photographic Workshop in the centre of Buncrana.

What music do you like?
I have a varied range. I enjoy the likes of John Martyn and just missed him playing at McGrorys in Culdaff last time he was here. I also enjoy classical music and I pretend to know a bit about it.

What would you never throw away?
Photographs, good, bad or otherwise. Photographs are important when they are first taken, then generally get forgotten. It’s good when a photo re-appears years later and their true value is recognised.

What book are you reading?
I have just finished All the King’s Men by Robert Penn. It’s been made into a film starring Sean Penn and Jude Law. The story is about the life of populist American Southerner Willie Stark and loosely based on Governor Huey Long of Louisiana

What was your favourite childhood game?
When I was a wee boy I would get up to the usual physical stuff that the pre- daytime television or computer game generation would do. I was the youngest in the house of three brothers and one sister so spent years coming last at games, especially ones that included a ball.

What section of the newspaper do you turn to first?
I don’t read the printed news…. I am on the computer a lot and have a ticker tape style news headline list running on the corner of the screen. It gives me up to date world news and if something catches my attention, I’ll click on it.

What is your idea of a good night out?
I enjoy a good meal out. I was spoilt for choice when I lived in Glasgow and London and like to think I know a good restaurant when I see one. My favourite at the moment is the Sunrise Indian restaurant in Buncrana.

Most embarrassing moment of your life?
It varies from day to day…..The one that springs to mind was at the Sanctuary rail in Letterkenny Cathedral recently. I was taking photographs at a wedding with at least four hundred guests attending. The mass was just over and the bride and groom were about to sign the register when my phone went off. The ringtone was “I will walk 500 miles” by the Proclaimers. I ran to the door and threw the phone outside.

Have you a favourite TV programme?
I really enjoyed a series called Westwing. The program was made between 1999 and 2006 (I have the DVD’s). It was years ahead if its time. Lost is quite good fun but they have lost the plot a bit this series.

How do you relax?
When I am left to my own devices I like silence or a bit of opera, something like Tosca.

What job did you want to do when you were a child?
I wanted to be an astronaut or a train driver, most children of my age group aspired to these professions. I used to sit on my coal shed at night with a telescope looking up at the moon. I treasured my Fisher Space Pen, remember those?

Where would you like to go for your holidays?
I enjoy cities so regular holidays would be going to European cities like Florence, Milan or Barcelona. It would be fantastic to visit the world’s emblematic man-made structures too, such as the Pyramids and the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru.

Your idea of heaven?
It would be the very earthly experience of walking the dogs in the woods on a nice spring or autumn day.

What famous people would you invite around for dinner and why?
The theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer who is remebered for being the father of the atomic bomb. He headed the team that first tested the bomb in the Trinity test in New Mexico. Oppenheimer famously quoted the Bhagavad Gita: “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” He did loads of other work that isn’t as well known such as research into black holes and quantum field theories.

Favourite animal?
I have two of them. Two Dalmatians, twin sisters Flash and Leica.

Biggest fear?
Trading my clogs in… It puts everything else into perspective…

The world’s most irritating invention?
Badly spelt text messages, Txt spk.

What is your idea of a good night in?
A big fire, a good film and a half decent bottle of red wine.

Do you have a hobby?
I have never understood the idea of hobbies. What my wife and I do now is part of our lives and who we are. I don’t have the need for anything to fill my time.

Which period in history would you most like to have lived through?
This one. It would be tempting to say in the past to meet people like Leonardo da Vinci but then again when you think of the open sewers, pestilence, plague and famine. No thanks…

World’s most useful invention?
Moveable type and the printing press. These gave us mass produced books and the dissemination of information.

What do you have for breakfast?
Toast if there’s time…

What couldn’t you live without?
If it’s things you are talking about, they are very over rated. I think it’s more important to have an understanding of people. That is where inspiration comes from.

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