Fogo Island is an island off an island; located off the Northeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada, it sits buffeted by the wild waters of the North Atlantic Ocean. Over 72 hours, British photographer Finn Beales captured this remote outpost and all of its architectural and natural glory.
Described by National Geographic, as “not so much a place, but a feeling”, Fogo Island is populated by brightly colored wooden cabins, clifftop paths that offer views of passing icebergs, verdant forest, and a recently enlivened arts community. Thanks to a series of artist residencies—featured previously on IGNANT—and the Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island has gained prominence in recent years as a destination for lovers of architecture and arts. It was because of these places that Beales first heard about the island. “I have been aware of the Inn for a few years, but more for design reasons than the ethos behind the enterprise”, he explains. “I’d seen images shared on Instagram and write ups on architectural websites. I had even written a blog post about one of the artist studios myself”.
Historically, Fogo Island’s main industry was cod fishing, but as that way of life became less viable, something needed to change. Zita Cobb—the daughter of a Fogo Island Fisherman—teamed up with architect Todd Saunders to create Fogo Island Inn: A social enterprise designed to reinvigorate the community. As a social enterprise, all profit from the inn is invested back into the community through projects and programs operated by the Shorefast Foundation. For Beales, it was the concept behind the project that so interested him on his trip: “Guided by history, environment, a sense of place and the arts, it’s a stunning realization that successfully wraps Fogo’s identity, culture, and traditions into a building that reaches far into the future and out across the world.”