Common Riding Portraits by Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Working in my archive recently, during an ongoing tidy up and reorganising, I found myself in my folder of portraits shot in the summer of 2014, during my documenting of the Common Ridings and festivals of the Scottish Borders.

That work, reportage work shot in 2013 and portraits shot the summer of 2014, culminated in a book, ‘Unsullied And Untarnished, the Common Ridings and Festivals of the Scottish Borders‘, and also appeared in our Document Scotland group show ‘The Ties That Bind’, at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Dave (50yr Cornet), Threepwood ride out, Galashiels, Scotland, 2014.

In this recent visit to my harddrives and the work, which I haven’t perused for a while, I was taken by a few of the portraits which never saw the light of day first time round. They never made it into the exhibition, nor did they make it into the Unsullied And Untarnished book (copies still available!). But on visiting them in this past week or two I enjoyed seeing them, like seeing old friends again.

Esther, – Riders and dignitaries during Peebles Beltane Week, Scotland, 2014.

These portraits mostly aren’t of the principals of the festivals – the Cornets, The Bearer of the Red Roses, the Coldstreamer, the Right Hand Lass, or one of the many other cherished and respected, historic titles given to the principals of the Common Ridings during the summer months.

It was always my intention with this project to represent everyone, the old, the young, the people at the side of the principals, the spectators. Most of the portraits here are of these people. I hope you enjoy them.

All images and text Copyright © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert 2014, all rights reserved.

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