Watertowers of Glasgow, by Adam Fowler

The photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher recorded many industrial structures across the landscape of Northern Europe. They would organise these images into grids of typologies. One of the structure types they chose to record was water towers. While the Bechers did visit Scotland I do not believe they photographed the many water towers in Glasgow, at least I do not know of any published photographs.

These structures have an other-worldly feel to them. Alien spaceships is the obvious comparison. They have an attractiveness that many will not see, common with many of the brutalist structures built at the same time. They consist of bold shapes and strong lines which make them a pleasure to photograph.

I wanted to make my own small homage to the work of the Bechers by creating my own grid of water towers from Glasgow.

Finding all the water towers in Glasgow was a harder task than I expected. A number of them are very visible. By design they are placed at the highest points, above the area they are meant to serve. But still not all of them are obvious and easy to find. After scrapping old Internet forums I constructed a list of all the possible sites where there was a tower. These would commonly lead to dead ends, either mis-information or because the water tower had been demolished. Then when a tower was found, finding a clear view of the large structure, frequently surrounded by housing was the next challenge. Certain sites required multiple visits to get the desired image.

In the end this work is not an authoritative list of water towers in Glasgow, neither was it meant to be. I missed the one in plain sight as you walk through town, connected to the Lighthouse building.  – Adam Fowler.

Adam Fowler’s photography website.

Arbroath, by Robert Birtles

Robert Birtles is a landscape and documentary photographer living in Dundee, Scotland. This current body of work by him examines the relationship between the landscapes, culture and traditions of the highland and coastal communities of Scotland.

Robert is currently making photographs documenting the east-coast fishing port of Arbroath. The project explores the town’s romantic bond with the North Sea and the riches its shores provide. For centuries, these waves have carved the identity of this historic community, even reaching global recognition for its famed smoked fish, the “Arbroath Smokie”. The project aims to capture an intimate reflection of the town and the people who call Arbroath home. A selection of images from this series was featured at the “Contour 001” exhibition in Edinburgh earlier this year (Feb 2020).

All images and text © Robert Birtles, 2020

Robert Birtles on Instagram.

Undertow & A9 – Frances Scott

Frances Scott is a photographer whose work Document Scotland have admired having enjoyed her book Undertow, published by Another Place Press, detailing her walks over the Orkney islands. A recently published ‘zine also by by the same publisher features a previous body of work, the A9 project, documenting Frances’ journeys between the Scottish Borders and the Orkney islands. Sophie met with Frances over zoom recently and took the opportunity to talk to her in more depth about these projects.

Some of our conversation is here, in Frances’ answers below, but to hear more and listen to Frances talk in detail about the work, please head over to our Patreon site where you can watch the video and learn more.

DS: When did you become a photographer – what was your early career and education and how did you get started?

FS: I studied Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art from 2010-14. The first two years of the course were broad (a mixture of illustration, graphic design and photography). In third year, after some difficulty choosing, I specialised in photography, and made the worthwhile discovery that by narrowing your area of study, you can deepen your focus, and get considerably more from it.

After graduating in 2014 I moved back to Orkney and struggled to get a job in the field I’d studied. I ended up working as cabin crew for Loganair, working solo on the lifeline flights which service Scotland’s islands. This meant I got to leave Orkney almost every day, and so I never really suffered from the ‘cabin fever’ you can get living on an island. Meanwhile, in 2016 I grouped together with a number of recent art graduates based in Orkney to form the Móti Collective, and after a bit of a hiatus began making artwork again. Our aim was to unite early career artists and designers who were either based in or returning to the islands, and celebrate Orkney’s importance as a creative hub in the north.

In early 2017 I got a job working as a photography technician at the GSA, and while I’m keen to assert the importance of not having an entirely city-centric creative practice there have been undeniable benefits to my career from being based in the Central Belt. At the same time, I miss Orkney very much, and maintain my links with my home – it has continued as the focus of much of my work, and I’m still a member of the Móti Collective, albeit a long-distance one.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: You started making Undertow in 2016, going for walks – it’s something many can relate to at the moment, how did those walks turn into a project?

FS: I began walking the coastline of the Orkney mainland in the spring of 2016, driven by the desire to know Orkney better, and primarily as a walking project rather than a photographic one. I wanted to really understand my home – to see how all the familiar places linked up, and to make my own claim on the island by walking it.

After four years of art school, experiencing life behind a lens, I wanted to be free from the need to document everything. It was important to be free to walk without interruption, to be fully present. The process of walking opened Orkney up to me – it made me see more, look harder, and remember better. Orkney grew, and keeps on growing.

When I started I didn’t have the funds nor the facilities to make analogue photographs, so I left my ‘real’ camera at home. I did however use an iPhone to gather ‘photosketches’ – quick, non-intrusive image gathering. I also recorded the walks using GPS and handwritten notes on maps. Over time, two things catalysed this project into artwork: taking part in a series of exhibitions as part of the Móti Collective from late 2016-18, and a research residency supported by Stills: Centre for Photography in 2018.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

Having completed the coastline of the Orkney mainland in summer 2018, the Stills residency led me on to the coastlines of the North Isles: North Ronaldsay, Papay and Rousay. On these new walks around islands where I’ve never lived, I brought my Mamiya 645, loaded with black and white film. Initially, finding a balance between photographing and walking was a struggle. I felt the pressure of an audience for whom I had to create images, the weight of the camera on my hip; I was no longer alone on these walks. But working in this way has been vital in sharing and communicating my experience, and the images are also of value to me, so I am adapting.

Some of these film photographs were exhibited in 2019 at Stills in the group show AMBIT: Photographies from Scotland, and this year work from the series was published as a photobook entitled ‘Undertow’ by the Another Place Press, an independent publisher based in the Scottish Highlands. I’ve become accustomed to the rhythm of these walks as part of my life and my creative work, and I feel the loss of them just now during the pandemic when I can’t travel home.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: Writing is clearly a very important part of your practise, does that come first? And the images later – how does this process work for you and why is it important to include both in your projects?

FS: Even as images have taken more of a ‘leading role’ within my coastline project, the writing always happens first. After each walk I record my experiences on an OS Map, long before I process my film and see the photographic results of the walk.

Writing helps preserve the memory of each walk for me, and also to share the experience with others. It patches the gaps that photographs can’t, and thereby relieves some pressure on me – I might witness something too fleeting or dark to capture with a camera, but because I can record it in writing instead, it’s okay that I’ve only seen it with my eyes. Afterwards, writing allows visual or other sensory experiences to bloom naturally in the mind of the reader, and there is a roominess or fluidity in it that is perhaps not shared by the fixed and unbending nature of photographs.

I think the way I approach writing helps. It’s just ‘notes’ – notes on a map, or in a sketchbook, or on a scrap of paper. If these notes have anything of value in them, I can use or adapt them later. If I thought of it as proper ‘writing’ which might be published or exhibited from the beginning, I’d probably find myself intimidated and unable to get things down on paper.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
Book insert from the publication Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

Book layout spreads from the publication Undertow,  by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
Book layout spreads from the publication Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: What was it like making this project into a book? It’s a beautiful object, how did the design and publishing process come together?

FS: It was daunting turning what had become a huge focus of my life into a book: how could I communicate my whole experience in book form? To alleviate some of the pressure of this, I choose to see the work I make about the project as creative ‘branches’ which grow from the experience, while the walks at their core remain mine, and separate from any artwork made about them.

I chose to only use the black and white film photographs in the book, as the iPhone photos wouldn’t sit well alongside them – they speak a different language. But without this sense of colour, something about the experience was left out – and so the book is accompanied by an insert which contains written notes from the Mainland and Rousay, small note-poems which try to convey the feeling of each walk through words. Also included in the book were maproutes
and handwritten maps of two of the North Isles.

Normally when laying out a photobook the images themselves lead the way, but I also had chronology to contend with: I wanted the reader to encounter each place in the same order I had. This created some complications in repetition and flow but over time these issues were smoothed out, until both Iain Sarjeant and I were happy with the layout. I chose a muted pink for the colour of the insert – this ‘glow’ is something I had associated with the walks in the form of sea-pinks, or the setting sun glancing off waves, or in the fiery clouds above, and I wanted some of this warmth to counter the greyscale images. The cover is simple, just a line that I walked (in this case part of the Deerness peninsula). It brings the project back to its roots – the brink between land and sea.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series Undertow, 2016 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series Undertow, by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: When did the A9 project come about? It’s a fascinating document of a journey between two very important places in your life – why choose the road – is journey important to you?

FS: During my two years as a photo specialist at GSA, my tutor Andy Stark said ‘Your work is about journeys’. I’m interested in the way we store feelings or memories in the land, and how travelling through a landscape can help you process your thoughts in time with the landscape. I came across a piece of writing by Rosemary Sullivan a number of years ago that said ‘The landscape of childhood provides the foundation layer of our psyche’. I like to look at the way these formative landscapes become part of our fundamental understanding of the world. My childhood was spent split between the north and south – my original home of Orkney, where my dad lived; Caithness, where my mum’s parents lived; and my temporary home of Hawick in the Scottish Borders with my mum. My internal landscape has always contained an awareness of and a yearning for ‘somewhere else’.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

I made the A9 series in 2014 at the tail end of my final year of art school. The project comes from my childhood living alone with my mum, and the many times she drove us northwards to see my family. It’s about the safety of the backseat, an only child with a car window for company. It’s also about leaving home, and the journey south to the city. The road links two halves of myself – a north/south, mum/dad, island/city, childhood/adulthood binary.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: Does this work include writing in such an important way too – or is it more image focused.

FS: Small paragraphs of writing are interspersed throughout the photozine. I use these to tell the story of the three days spent driving and photographing the road in 2014. I think I would have found it too difficult to pinpoint in writing exactly what the A9 holds for me, so it was better to focus on this one particular journey, which was the very first time I had driven the whole road alone. The writing hovers over the surface of a deeper sense of nostalgia associated with the A9. Because I was a relatively young woman, putting myself outside of the normal rules of travelling, I had a number of strange encounters over the course of the journey – including being stopped by the police and confronted by a gamekeeper, both while walking alone with my camera. Without including it in writing, this perspective would be lost. These written interludes invite the viewer to share this solitary journey with me.

From the series A9, 2014 by Frances Scott. © 2016 Frances Scott All rights reserved.
From the series A9, by Frances Scott. © 2014 Frances Scott All rights reserved.

DS: You’re working with Another Place Press again, tell us more about that relationship.

FS: Iain Sarjeant has been a supportive figure in the industry for a number of years now – I was encouraged back in 2015 when he featured some of my degree work on his online platform ‘Another Place Magazine’. At the time, I remember discovering his ‘Out of the Ordinary’ series and being fascinated by his images of Orkney, Caithness, Aberdeen – I was delighted to see the care and attention he gave to these places which had often felt snubbed or overlooked during my time as a student in Glasgow. Since then, Iain has kept an eye on my work on social media, and in late 2018 he approached me to ask if I might like to turn my coastline project into a book with Another Place Press. We’ve met in person a few times, but most of our planning/design correspondence takes place over email, a very democratic and open exchange of PDFs and ideas. Iain grew up in the Highlands, and understands the motivation behind my projects – I don’t have to explain why the places in my work are important to me, as they are often significant to him too.

DS: What’s next for you?
FS: I’ll be continuing my project to walk the coastlines of Orkney, since there’s a lot of coastline left. I’m going to keep making work about it, so perhaps there will be a sequel to Undertow in the coming years. The Covid-19 restrictions have unfortunately disrupted that project (I live in Glasgow and can’t travel to Orkney at the moment), so I’m having to be patient for now. In the meantime, I’ll be showing some work in an exhibition this month with the Móti Collective in Orkney, and I’m currently setting up a studio space in my flat.

DS: Thanks so much Frances, it was great to chat with you and hear more about these projects.

To see more of Frances’ work go to her website www.frances-scott.co.uk

Frances’ A9 ‘zine is available to purchase for just £8 from publisher Another Place Press

Her book Undertow is sold out on Another Place Press but you might be able to find a copy at Streetlevel Photoworks or the Pier Arts Centre Orkney, or other photography book sellers in Scotland.

Shetland Reconnaissance – Richard Chivers

Collafirth Hill, Shetland. © Richard Chivers

Mossy Hill, Shetland. © Richard Chivers

The Shetland Islands geographical positioning as the UK’s furthest northerly landmass, has over the last 100 years, made it a key strategic observation point for the Military to defend the UK from foreign activity.

During WW1 and WW2 there were many observational posts across Shetland that were used to defend key areas of the Island to stop invasion and inform the mainland of any imminent attack.

During the Cold War strategic observational posts and communication systems were set up on Shetland, observing through Radar any activity in the North including that of the Russians. This included a Remote Radar Station at Saxa Vord and NATO’s ACE High communications system, allowing long-range communications between NATO’s high command across the rest of Europe.

At Saxa Vord on Unst the Remote Radar station closed in 2006 but as of July 2019 has recently been reinstated to full capacity to monitor the Russian threat once again.

Saxa Vord Radar Station, Unst. © Richard Chivers.

View, looking south, from Saxa Vord Radar Station, Unst. © Richard Chivers.

View from Saxa Vord Radar Station, Unst. © Richard Chivers.

For this project I visited these key Military sites and became interested in the Geography, Topography and history of the landscape. To slow myself down and pick up as much detail as possible I photographed most of the work on a 5×4 large format film camera. This felt important as it meant I spent many hours at each site observing the constantly changing weather conditions and was able to appreciate the desolate nature of the landscape.

The work was made in collaboration with the MAP6 collective, each photographer choosing a different theme to document around the Shetland Islands. The work was then exhibited at the Brighton Photo Fringe in 2018.

RAF Skaw, Shetland. © Richard Chivers.

Ness of Sound. © Richard Chivers.

Ness of Sound. © Richard Chivers.

Richard Chivers is a documentary photographer based in Brighton, England. His work broadly looks at the British landscape and how it is shaped and re-shaped over time. Examining rural, industrial and urban spaces through history, geography and social themes that convey the complex nature of the landscape we inhabit.

His work has been exhibited across the UK and Internationally including the Brighton Photo Fringe, Format International Photography Festival, Arles, the MK Gallery, Anise Gallery and various other places.

He is a member of the MAP6 Collective whose work is currently on show at the Brighton Photo Fringe 2020.

Follow Richard Chivers on Instagram.

Drawn To The Land – Sophie Gerrard

Drawn To The Land is an ongoing and exploratory project which takes an intimate look at the contemporary Scottish landscape through the eyes of the women who are working, forming and shaping it.

Working and living in a male dominated world, women have a significant yet under represented role to play in farming in Scotland. Farming some of the most inhospitable and isolated rural areas of Scotland, these female farmers have an intense and remarkable relationship with the harsh landscape in which they live and work.

Sophie’s project, begun in 2012, explores the domestic landscape as well as the physical, following the emotional story of the land as much as the historical and geographical. The women’s’ personal and physical stories reflect a wider story of our national identity, and emotional relationship with the landscape.

(Title image: Sarah, Isle of Eigg, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved)

Minty, Isle of Mull, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved
Minty, Isle of Mull, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved

Patricia Glennie's flock of sheep with windfarm turbines at the Threeburnford farm, Lauder, Scottish borders.
Blackfaced ewes with windfarm turbines, Lauder, Scottish borders. 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Patricia, Lauder, Scottish borders. 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Pink Buckets, Perthshire, 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Patricia, at lambing time Lauder, Scottish Borders, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

“This project began in 2012 as a way of exploring my own relationship with the Scottish landscape. Having worked and lived away from Scotland for almost a decade working on environmentally focused photographic projects, I set out to understand the connection I, like many Scots, have with the landscape. It’s a great symbol of our national identity and nostalgia – but one which can often lead to a view of the picturesque, of romance and “rural fantasy”.

My aim was to uncover something more authentic. And so began a personal journey for me, I wanted to scratch the surface, to go beyond the picturesque postcard view and learn about the land through the eyes of those who are responsible for it.”

 

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Sybil, Dalmally, Argyll, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Patricia at lambing time, Lauder, Scottish Borders, 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sybil, Dalmally, Argyll, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Lorraine, Langholm, 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Animal Medicines, Langholm, 2013 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Patricia, Langhom, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Mary’s home, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Mary’s farm, Perthshire, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Minty feeding the ponies Isle of Mull, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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The crook given to Sarah by her uncle 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sarah with her sheep dogs 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sarah, Isle of Eigg, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Minty, Isle of Mull, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Patricia’s farm, Lauder, The Scottish Borders, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sybil, Dalmally, Argyll, 2014 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sybil’s family photographs, Dalmally, Argyll, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Sarah’s farming diary Isle of Eigg, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Portrait of Lorraine’s grandmother Langholm, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Fleeces, Dalmally, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Wind Blown Trees, Isle of Eigg, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

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Mary, Perthshire, 2015 © Sophie Gerrard all rights reserved.

 

Looking over the border

Fareweel to a’ oor Scottish fame
Fareweel oor ancient glory
Fareweel even tae oor Scottish name
Sae famed in martial story
Noo Sark runs o’er the Solway sands
Tweed runs tae the ocean
Tae mark where
England’s province stands
Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation

– Robert Burns, 1791

Exactly two years ago, I embarked on a 12-month journey to trace Scotland’s border with England. The result was A Fine Line.

Starting in the frontier town of Gretna, separated from England by the tiny river Sark, I followed a meandering series of paths, tracks and roads and over the next year drifted from west to east, finally ending my journey at the North Sea, a few miles north of Berwick-upon-Tweed.

The purpose was part-documentary, part self-discovery: I wanted to explore my identity as a Scot exiled in England through photography and with the referendum on Scottish Independence on the horizon, it seemed to be the perfect time for such a project.

My travels took me to towns and villages, moorland and hilltops. I photographed people I encountered along the way and events which make up the fabric of life on the border. I researched my trips, looking at the geography, history and topography of my destinations, but beyond that, I left it to my mind and eyes to wander across the stunning landscapes and ancient settlements. The only restriction I placed on myself was that all the images should be ‘made in Scotland’.

Shooting everything on a single, medium-format film camera allowed me to focus on the content of the images without the distraction of choices of different lenses. The result was a fusion of documentary, portraiture and landscape photography which was put together to reflect my personal experiences and points-of-view.

The first phase of the project initially appeared in our debut Seeing Ourselves exhibition in 2013 at Fotospace. On the strength of that work, Anne MacNeill, curator of Impressions Gallery, encouraged me to keep the project going, to which end it was displayed as part of our Beyond the Border show in Bradford last summer.

As the debate and discussion around Scotland’s ongoing relationship with her bigger, more powerful neighbour continues through the ballot boxes at Westminster and Holyrood, I envisage retuning to the border lands some time soon and rediscovering the people and places of this unique habitat.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Welcome to Scotland, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Married Couple, Gretna, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Solway Firth, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Wedding, Gretna Green, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Rod Stewart, Gretna, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Burial Ground, Canonbie, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘The Holm Show, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Site of the Battle of Redeswire, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2013, all rights reserved.
‘Salmon Nets, Paxton House, 2013.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Woman with a Union Jack Bag, Town Yetholm, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Berwickshire Coastal Park, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

© Colin McPherson, 2014, all rights reserved.
‘Inshore Waters, 2014.’ Photograph © Colin McPherson, all rights reserved.

 

 

24 Bobbins to Ballalan

 

24 Bobbins to Ballalan
The Tweed Mills of the Outer Hebrides, by Robin Mitchell.

In the autumn of 2009 I was entering my final year of study for a degree in Documentary Photography at Newport in South Wales. Not long before that I had made my first visit to the Outer Hebrides and I was looking for an excuse to go back. That year the BBC ran a documentary series about the state of the Harris Tweed industry and the role of the tweed mills within the island community. The combination of tradition, craft, industrial turmoil and the wild and beautiful landscape convinced me to travel to Lewis to make work there.

Harris Tweed is a hard-wearing, woven fabric made from sheep’s wool in the Outer Hebrides. The brand is protected by Act of Parliament and in order to be stamped with the famous Harris Tweed Orb trade mark the fabric must be woven at the home of the weaver using a treadle loom without electricity. This much is common knowledge, but the 3 tweed mills on the island of Lewis play a big part in the manufacturing process. They generate the bulk of the orders, wash and dye the wool, make the yarn and send it out to the weavers. The mill vans travel round the island dropping off yarn and collecting in the woven fabric, while workers in the mills darn broken or loose threads and wash, press and package the orders. I wanted to find out more about the work of the mills and the people employed there, but also about the relationship between the mills, the community and the landscape.

 

Sentinel (Carloway, Lewis, 2009), ©Robin MItchell, All rights reserved.
Sentinel (Carloway, Lewis, 2009),  ©Robin Mitchell, All rights reserved.

 

Pens (Rhenigidale, Harris, 2009) Many island crofters lost their land to the sheep during The Clearances of the 18th and 19th Centuries, but wool became indispensible to the local economy with the growth of the tweed industry from 1840 onwards. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Pens (Rhenigidale, Harris, 2009) Many island crofters lost their land to the sheep during The Clearances of the 18th and 19th Centuries, but wool became indispensible to the local economy with the growth of the tweed industry from 1840 onwards. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Carding Corridor (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009), ©Robin MItchell, All rights reserved.
Carding Corridor (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009), ©Robin Mitchell, All rights reserved.

 

It is a cliché (and a marketing strategy) to say that the colours of the Harris Tweeds reflects the landscapes from which the fabric comes. In the past this was more literally true, when the yarn came from local sheep and the dyes were made by hand from lichen, seaweeds and other plants and minerals found locally. While these practices have changed, there is nonetheless a clear correlation. Each tweed is made from a number of different colours of yarn, but each yarn also contains a minimum of 3 different coloured wools, carefully weighed out and mixed so that each strand is flecked with different colours. Earth colours predominate – greens, browns and greys – but bright yellows and pinks, emeralds and scarlet also find their way in and the possible combination of colours and patterns is limitless. Like the landscape, the tweed reveals more beauty the closer you look.

 

Wool Sacks (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009) In the past the weavers worked with the wool from their own sheep.  Today the wool is bought in large quantities from the wool market in Bradford.  It is not impossible, however,  that the consignment contains wool from local island sheep. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Wool Sacks (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009) In the past the weavers worked with the wool from their own sheep. Today the wool is bought in large quantities from the wool market in Bradford. It is not impossible, however, that the consignment contains wool from local island sheep. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Dyed in the Wool (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis, 2009) The mills work with dozens of basic wool shades.  As many as six of these colours may be combined in one yarn.  Donald 'D.K.' Macleod washes the dyed wools at the mill in Carloway. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Dyed in the Wool (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis, 2009) The mills work with dozens of basic wool shades. As many as six of these colours may be combined in one yarn. Donald ‘D.K.’ Macleod washes the dyed wools at the mill in Carloway. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Kelly Jenkins (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009) Kelly Jenkins' job includes ensuring the right colours and quantities of yarns are sent out with each order.  She works alongside her father, Harris Tweed Hebrides' pattern designer Ken Kennedy. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Kelly Jenkins (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009) Kelly Jenkins’ job includes ensuring the right colours and quantities of yarns are sent out with each order. She works alongside her father, Harris Tweed Hebrides’ pattern designer Ken Kennedy. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

24 Bobbins (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis 2009) Whether the weavers source their own clients or work to order from the mills, they depend on the mills for the supply of coloured yarns.  The yarn for the warp (the strands that run the length of the fabric) is supplied on large spools, or 'beams' while the yarn for the weft (the strands the run across the width of the fabric) is delivered on bobbins. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
24 Bobbins (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis 2009) Whether the weavers source their own clients or work to order from the mills, they depend on the mills for the supply of coloured yarns. The yarn for the warp (the strands that run the length of the fabric) is supplied on large spools, or ‘beams’ while the yarn for the weft (the strands the run across the width of the fabric) is delivered on bobbins. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

In November and December 2009 I made two trips to the island, staying ten days each time. I stayed in independent hostels and traveled to the two active tweed mills by service bus. I hired a car for a couple of days to travel round and photograph the island, looking for that connection between the rocky landscapes of Harris and the moorlands of Lewis and the tweed that was being created in the loom sheds and mills dotted about the place. The connection was clear, not only in the colours of the fabric but in the lives of the overall-clad workers, many of whom had been fishermen or farmers or weavers and perhaps still were spending part of their year outside, working the land. And while the mills could not be termed ‘family businesses’, many of the people I met were working alongside other family members or working with tweeds created by friends and relatives.

 

Looking to the Loch (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009, ©Robin MItchell, all rights reserved.
Looking to the Loch (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009, ©Robin MItchell, all rights reserved.

 

Darning the Tweed 3 (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009). At Harris Tweed Hebrides the darners sling the tweeds over a bar and run it past a strip light to identify any flaws needing darned. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Darning the Tweed 3 (Harris Tweed Hebrides, Shawbost, Lewis, 2009). At Harris Tweed Hebrides the darners sling the tweeds over a bar and run it past a strip light to identify any flaws needing darned. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Clearly a life as a weaver is no easy option – particularly when working with electric looms is not permissible – but the island people take pride in its creation and work hard to retain and build on its reputation and to protect the integrity of the brand that is so important to the island economy. After lean times in the 1970s, 80s and 90s when modern, man-made fabrics seriously threatened the future of the brand, the market for Harris Tweed is growing and diversifying.

During my trips I photographed at the smallest of the mills, Harris Tweed Textiles at Carloway and the newly established Harris Tweed Hebrides at Shawbost. The biggest of the mills, Harris Tweed Scotland in Stornoway was not operating at the time. My thanks to everyone in the mills and to the Harris Tweed Authority for their help with this project.

 

Tweed emerging from the loom. Lewis, 2009. The subtle pattern of the tweed being woven in Alexander Smith's loom shed in Carloway contains a myriad of colours. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Tweed emerging from the loom. Lewis, 2009. The subtle pattern of the tweed being woven in Alexander Smith’s loom shed in Carloway contains a myriad of colours. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Machine Pressing at Harris Tweed Hebrides, 2009. At Harris Tweed Hebrides finished tweeds are run through the presses before being packaged up and sent out to clients. ©Robin MItchell, all rights reserved.
Machine Pressing at Harris Tweed Hebrides, 2009. At Harris Tweed Hebrides finished tweeds are run through the presses before being packaged up and sent out to clients. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

Bus Shelter (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis, 2009) . The tweed mill at Carloway, on the west side of the island, is some way off the main island route.  While not heavily used, the service bus provides an important link with the rest of the island. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.
Bus Shelter (Harris Tweed Textiles, Carloway, Lewis, 2009) . The tweed mill at Carloway, on the west side of the island, is some way off the main island route. While not heavily used, the service bus provides an important link with the rest of the island. ©Robin Mitchell, all rights reserved.

 

24 Bobbins to Ballalan
The Tweed Mills of the Outer Hebrides

All photographs © Robin Mitchell 2009
This text © Robin Mitchell 2014

Robin Mitchell’s photography on his website.

The Scottish Independence Referendum

 

Highs, lows, an historical and unforgettable week for Scotland.

Here are some of the images shot by Colin McPherson, Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Stephen McLaren in the lead up to and over the 18th September 2014. The world was watching, and so were we…

 

 

Colin McPherson

(above: Alex Salmond and a supporter take a ‘selfie’, Perth, Scotland image © Colin McPherson 2014, all rights reserved.)

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-independence gathering in George Square, Glasgow © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
The audience cheer as former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown MP delivers a speech to supporters at a Better Together rally at Community Central Hall, Glasgow © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A musician with flaming bagpipes leads a spontaneous march to mobilise support for a pro-independence vote on the day of the independence referendum, Craigmillar, Edinburgh © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
Members of the Protestant Orange Order march through Edinburgh © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
Scottish socialist campaigner and former parliamentarian Tommy Sheridan speaking at Shottstown Miners Welfare club in Penicuik, Midlothian © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-independence supporter breaks down in tears outside the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh as the results of the referendum on Scottish independence are announced. © Colin McPherson 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

Sophie Gerrard

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The media village outside the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, Edinburgh, on a misty 18th September 2014, the day of the independence referendum. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

Union Flag and St Andrews Cross fly from a front garden in Argyll, Scotland. © Sophie gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.
The Union Flag and St Andrews Cross fly from a garden in Argyll, Scotland. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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The Craxton Family at their local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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Erik Kruse at his local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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A family at their local polling station, Edinburgh, 18th September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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Bruce, Edinburgh, September 2014 © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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Overseas media report on the results of the independence referendum from outside the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, 19th September 2014. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

 

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Being interviewed outside the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, 19th September 2014. © Sophie Gerrard 2014 all rights reserved

 

 

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Pro-Union No voters argue in the street with pro-Independence Yes voters, in the run up to the referendum in Glasgow, Scotland. © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

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Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, talking to youths while out campaigning for a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum, East End of Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
A heated exchange of opinions takes place between pro-Scottish independence supporters and a pro-Union supporter in the run-up to the referendum on Scottish independence in Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
A pro-Union Better Together campaign sticker reading ‘No Thanks’ is affixed to a window alongside a Union Jack flag, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Pro-Independence Yes supporters in George Square the day before the Scottish independence referendum, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Gordon Brown speaks at a pro-Union event, the day before the Scottish Independence referendum, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

© Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.
Jim Murphy MP, former Secretary of State for Scotland, arrives carrying his soapboxes as he continued his ‘100 towns in 100 days’ tour outside the Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved © Jeremy Sutton Hibbert 2014 all rights reserved.

 

 

Stephen McLaren

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Bruce Turnbull, of Leith, Edinburgh, salutes after he has cast his vote in the Independence Referendum on 18th September 2014 © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Men walk on a foggy Calton Hill, a famous Edinburgh landmark, as the polling boots open for the Scottish independence referendum on 18th of September 2014 © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
A young girl standing in front of TV crews as they interview Alex Salmond, in Glasgow during the independence referendum © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
A supporter of the No to Scottish Independence campaign, at a polling place in central Edinburgh © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
Nicola Sturgeon being interviewed in Glasgow for radio during the independence referendum campaign © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

© Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.
George Square, Glasgow on the night of the independence referendum © Stephen McLaren 2014, all rights reserved.

 

 

This is only a small selection of the work shot by Document Scotland’s 4 photographers on the days surrounding the 18th September 2014. You can see more on each of on our websites and by following these links …

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert on Getty Images

Colin McPherson on Corbis Images

Sophie Gerrard for The Financial Times

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert in TIME

Colin McPherson in The Independent on Sunday

Sophie Gerrard in The Telegraph

Stephen McLaren and Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert for Der Spiegel

Colin McPherson in TIME

Sophie Gerrard on Instagram for The Photographers’ Gallery

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert in The Guardian, here, here, and here

Colin McPherson in The Guardian here , here and here

Sophie Gerrard for Le Monde

Colin McPherson for Le Monde

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Colin McPherson in Armen Magazine

Colin McPherson in The New Yorker

Photographs were also published in The Daily Record, L’express, Internazionale & Nation

Document Scotland in the British Journal of Photography and again here

Document Scotland on Photomonitor and again here

Document Scotland in The BBC

Time And Tide Wait For No Man.

Luke Brown sent us this series of images ‘Time And Tide Wait For No Man’, a look at the outdoor swimming pool areas of the Edwardian and Victorian eras. It isn’t a subject matter we’d seen covered before, and knowing nothing of Scottish outdoor pools we find it of interest and Luke has graciously shared it below with his introduction. – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

 

Cellardyke Tidal Pool, East Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Cellardyke Tidal Pool, East Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Time And Tide Wait For No Man, by Luke Brown.

The tidal pools represent some of the last standing man made structures that do not come under scrutiny from current health and safety rules.

This is due to the period in which they were built, if built today they would be designed under the constraints imposed by present day regulations. These very rules now affect the existence of the remaining pools. They are under threat from lack of maintenance, being exposed to the harshest of elements scattered along Britain’s margins.

“A sense of superiority of English Landscape aesthetics was linked to a broader certainty that English ways were the best ways of doing things and of their natural superiority and authority over other people and places (Seymour 2000)

Britain’s sense of hierarchy over the landscape is evident up until the very edges of our coastline where the tidal swimming pools can be found, built originally for the enjoyment of newfound leisure time, and as a safe haven for swimming away from the dangers of the sea.

The structures embody the Edwardian and Victorian periods, acting as a reflection of Great Britain’s strength and power, during the reign of The British Empire. At the islands peak in 1922, Great Britain controlled almost a quarter of the Earth’s total landmass. These manmade constructions are a product and symbol of The British Empire, demonstrating England’s attitude towards controlling the land.

At present the spaces represent something very different. The tidal swimming pools now “hold an absence of order from the social laws of today that keep us in check.” (Ribas recalling Baltz) A space where freedom of expression can be celebrated, where people can make choices to act on instinct and common sense, rather than the behavioural constraints dictated upon society.

 

North Baths, Wick, North Highland, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
North Baths, Wick, North Highland, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Pittenweem Tidal Pool, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Pittenweem Tidal Pool, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Step Rock, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Step Rock, St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

North Berwick Tidal Pool, East Lothian, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
North Berwick Tidal Pool, East Lothian, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

The pools are photographed on a 4×5 plate camera, a Victorian invention, during the tidal swimming pools downtime, the winter period, to show the landscape in its rawest state. A time when the tidal pools themselves struggle to survive under the harsh coastal weather conditions, battling against the typical British Winters to stay in existence.

But even these spaces have restrictions, the most prevalent limit being nature. The tide dictates the space and its use, however the ocean answers to the gravitational pull of the Moon. While the tide is in, the majority of the pools are hidden in an unforgiving dark mass, becoming un-swimmable. This natural occurrence still holds a very dominant sense of control over humans and the landscape, dictating the conditions of use, enjoyment and documentation.

“Time and tide wait for no man.” (Geoffrey Chaucer)

 

Portsoy Tidal Pool, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Portsoy Tidal Pool, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

St. Monan's Tidal Pool, Anstruther, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
St. Monan’s Tidal Pool, Anstruther, Fife, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

The Trinkie, Wick, North Highlands, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
The Trinkie, Wick, North Highlands, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Powfoot Tidal Pool, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.
Powfoot Tidal Pool, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. ©Luke Brown 2014.

 

Luke Brown’s photography website is here, and you can chat with him via his Twitter feed.

Sandy Carson

 

Sandy Carson has had a varied life. He studied media and communication studies before dropping out to be in a punk band and to go on tour as a teenager. After a few years he quit the band and moved the U.S. to pursue a BMX career and turned professional a couple of years after.

“I was lucky enough to tour the world with my bike riding and taught myself how to use my camera during my travels.”

Although in recent years he has become a professional photographer, he is still as obsessed by bikes as he was when he was younger. Last year on a return trip to Scotland to see his family he also undertook a massive bike ride with his girlfriend.

“I took the other half to the homeland this summer, to meet my family, re-exploring Scotland. I haven’t lived there in two decades and at times I feel like a tourist in my own country. So, with fresh sets of eyes, we set about it on bike and foot. If it’s not from Scotland, it really is crap!”

Enjoy some more of Sandy’s work at www.sandycarson.com

 

laura_forest_bike1
Forest © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

portree_crossing
Portree Crossing © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

perfect_man2
Perfect Man © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

laura-focus
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

eilan_brellas
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

hedges_pole1
Hedges © Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

heelan_coos2
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

laura_legs1
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

dolly_pipes
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

angus_mac3
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

snail2
© Sandy Carson all rights reserved

 

The A41 Project

“For the last 12 months, I have been researching and delivering a project which has taken my photography away from strictly documentary to looking at ways in which we can use images creatively to communicate particular themes, ideas or sets of statistics.

The A41 Project had its genesis at Look11, the first Liverpool international photography festival, where I participated in a session on ‘photography as a call to action’ with representatives from The Equality Trust, a London-based organisation which campaigns for a fairer society and against inequality. Around that time I had been in London, walking up Park Lane, one the the richest streets in the country in one of the wealthiest areas. I noticed a sign for the A41 trunk road, directing traffic and pedestrians past Marble Arch and left into Portland Street. I immediately thought about where the A41 ends, in Birkenhead, overlooking the banks of the Mersey, in one of England’s poorest and most deprived wards. That’s not to say that in London all the streets are paved with gold, or that Birkenhead has nothing going for it. Quite the opposite: levels of inequality in London are amongst the greatest in the developed world and the consequences are felt by all. For me the road was a metaphor for inequality, the gap between rich and poor and the consequences for society, and I became fascinated as to how I could use my photography to explore these ideas.

So, in association with The Equality Trust and with principal funding from the Arts Council of England, I set out on the road, exploring, discovering, thinking and all the while trying to illustrate statistics, facts, research and data to come up with a coherent body of work which would ask questions and invite the viewer to form opinions not just of the work, but of the subject too. The journey took me through the Home Counties, rural Oxfordshire and on to Birmingham and the West Midlands. From there the A41 snakes its way north through agricultural Shropshire and Cheshire before journey’s end on Merseyside. As part of the project, I also worked with four participatory groups, helping them to make their own work in response to the theme and producing a newspaper which showcased our work and includes an article by Professor Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level.

The culmination of the project is a series of 25 people-less ‘social landscapes’ which will be shown at a run of five exhibitions, the first of which has just launched at The Public in West Bromwich and which runs until 6 May. The dissemination of the work also formed an important part of the process and outcome of the project. The photographs are presented in the gallery space with a series of questions which form part of the image, with supporting text displayed next to the work.

Further shows are planned this year in Milton Keynes and Birkenhead, before it goes to London next year. Additional information on the A41 Project can be found on my website where you can view the entire set of images I made for the exhibition.”

– Colin McPherson.

Woodside Ferry, Birkenhead, 2012.

 

Little Sutton, Cheshire, 2012.

 

Surveillance for sale, London, 2012.

 

War memorial, Port Sunlight, Wirral, 2012.

 

‘Shaky meets Elvis’, Bilston, 2012.

 

Housing, West Bromwich, 2012.

 

Riches Street, Wolverhampton, 2012.

 

Going To The Hills by Glyn Satterley

Going To The Hill

It is with great pleasure that Document Scotland can today showcase the work by Glyn Satterley, from his latest book ‘Going To The Hill, Life On Scottish Sporting Estates’.  This is the tenth book by Glyn, a renowned freelancer whose work has been widely exhibited and published in magazines. He has spent many years documenting life on Scotland’s sporting estates, and his earlier book, The Highland Game, concentrated purely on Highland estates was published in 1992. This new book brings estate life up to the present and covers the whole of Scotland.

On our blog you can view selected pages from the book, as well as watch a film in which Glyn talks with enthusiasm for the work, lifestyle and Scottish landscape.

“I have always loved this work by Glyn, and it gives me great pride to be graciously allowed to feature it here as a folio. It truly is a treat to delve into the books and archives from which this work is selected and to be able to choose images, to read Glyn’s words, and to learn about both the sporting estate lifestyle and culture, and also through the words sense Glyn’s enthusiasm for his work, and his love for Scotland’s landscape.” – Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert.

All below captions and images are © Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

The helicopter departs, Invercauld, Aberdeenshire. © Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Looking somewhat dismayed, these guns were deposited high up on the Invercauld hillside in pursuit of ptarmigan. Helicopter is not the usual mode of transport, but this was a charity auction day.”

 

The Stalking Party, Glen Affric, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“On this particular day out on the hill, stalker Ronnie Buchan not only had to put up with four people in the party, but also accomodate the photographer and find a ‘shootable’ stag. Great stalker that he is, Ronnie delivered the goods.”

 

Jimmy unleashes the Glenlyon hounds, Perthshire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Universally, keepers and stalkers are obsessed with controlling foxes and Jimmy Lambie is no exception. He does, however, have the advantage over most other keepers who usually work single handedly, aided by only a couple of terriers. Jimmy runs a pack of thirteen fox hounds.”

 

The Beaters’ Wagon, Islay Estates, Islay. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Rather like Dr. Who’s Tardis, a glimpse inside this wagon reveals it to be full to the gunwales, including one of the guns, umpteen beaters and a whole gang of dogs.”

 

The Cleaning Squad, Reay Forest, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“These ladies were heading for one of the outlying lodges on the estate to prepare for incoming guests.”

 

Morning cleaning, Glencalvie Lodge, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

‘Spring’ pointer and setter trial, Tomatin, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“These Easter-time trials are often a lottery regarding the weather. This one was brought to a halt as a snowy squall passed through, leaving the landscape covered in white, frozen, human and doggy sculptures.”

 

Loading onto the Argo, Assynt, Sutherland. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

 

The start of a long drag, Benmore, Isle of Mull. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“This was a wonderful scene, set amidst dramatic landscape, but eventually the euphoria wore off. The stag had been shot on a steep down slope, and the only way to extract it was to drag it downward, and then along the valley floor. Sounds easy, but the bottom of the valley section was a mile or two away, traversing burns every few hundred yards. The three of us shared the pulling, working two at a time, but it became more and more difficult as we got hotter and hotter, and each tiny incline felt like a mountain. The person not pulling had the added burden of carrying everybody else’s discarded clothing, plus my camera kit. You can imagine our relief when we finally got close enough for the Argo to collect it.”

 

Wind turbine grouse, Farr, Tomatin, Inverness-shire. ©Glyn Satterley 2012, all rights reserved.

“Controversial though they may be, wind turbines have revived some estates fortunes. This one at Farr required sixteen miles of road to be laid, which has given keepers access to the moor and helped with vermin control. Interestingly, the highest densities of grouse are now being recorded in and around the turbines, which probably means the blades deter raptors. It does however look and feel a little unnatural, having huge structures whirring away in the backdrop whilst people are shooting from butts.”

 

Click here to purchase Glyn Satterley’s ‘Going To The Hill, Life On Scottish Sporting Estates’.

View Glyn Satterley’s photography website and print sales page here.

 

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