It was with pleasure that I followed a link on Twitter today, that great oracle, and found out news that a book of Scottish photography is about to be reprinted. Always joyous news here in Document Scotland.
The book in question is Stone Built by Gunnie Moberg, so with kind permission of the Gunnie Moberg Archive we reproduce below their blog post which tells the story of the reprinting, and they have kindly allowed us to show a few of Gunnie Moberg’s photos from the book also. – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Stone Built, by Gunnie Moberg
Great news. The Orcadian have just published a facsimile copy of Gunnie Moberg’s 1979 publication Stone Built. This book (originally published by Stromness Books & Prints, which in 1979 had just been taken over by Gunnie’s husband Tam) has been out of print for some time. And so it is great news to see this, Gunnie Moberg’s first book, being made available again.
This edition has been made using new scans from the original black & white negatives held in the Gunnie Moberg Archive. The beautiful compositions, it transpired, were not achieved through later cropping of the photographs but were there on the neg – Gunnie was a full frame photographer, making her decisions through the lens, and all this hundreds of feet up in a small plane.
The Orcadian have included a section at the back which updates some of the information on the sites while leaving the original captions intact. The 18 photographs inside are an aerial tour over some of Orkney’s remarkable archaeology and some lesser known places – one no longer exists, having been claimed by the sea. Gunnie Moberg’s feeling for stone makes this a visual essay on shape and structure. A treasury. A small book of Gunnie’s monumental vision of Orkney.
The book is made up of 18 full page black & white photographs of aerial images of archaeology across Orkney. The photographs spread across the islands and across time from 19th Century agricultural buildings to Neolithic chambered tombs. The earliest stone structure is Papa Westray’s Knap of Howar (3,500B.C) and the latest is the WW2 Churchill Barriers. The photographs were shot on 35mm Ilford HP5 and FP4 film.
In the acknowledgments Gunnie thanks Andy Alsop the pilot who flew Gunnie around the islands in the Loganair small Islander plane. To find out more about Gunnie’s aerial photography visit here.
Stone Built is available now through The Orcadian bookshop and Stromness Books & Prints priced at £7.99.