I have been trying to do some contextual research in between the significant amount of “doing” as I prepare for my Exhibition, work on my e-book and think about the storyboard for a film about my work and practice.
A Solo Exhibition by Margaret Soraya at The Bosham Gallery caught my eye, not only because of her interesting images of remote Scottish Islands but rather for the way she described her practice.
“The landscapes I capture on the remote Scottish Islands are a reflection of solo time in nature, being still and embracing quiet.
I thrive in quiet. I need stillness to revitalise and to heal. Part of that is possibly my introvert nature wanting balance in a world that seems to value extroversion. One of the greatest gifts of introversion is the ability to harness the hidden power of solitude.
There’s a freedom in being alone, not needing to respond to anyone or be a version of myself other than my true nature. It allows me to be purely myself and that feeds into the landscapes I take.
A few people recently asked if I would mind them painting from my landscapes. I realised that I did mind. I wanted them to make their own journeys, to paint totally from their own hearts rather than filtering through my interpretation of the landscape.
When you’re creating, it’s important to travel your own journey. You need to be conscious of who you are and create from that place, taking photos that truly speak to you. That’s the case for all kinds of photography including landscapes or, in fact, anything creative. It gives you your own unique style and strength to your portfolio.”
I too am an introvert and seek solace and peace on a rugged Scottish Island – Skye. A lot of Margaret’s words apply to my practice and I understand exactly what she means about trying to survive as an introvert in an extrovert world. The landscape provides me with an opportunity to spend time alone, think my own thoughts and take in the feeling of being in the natural world. For me, this is made all the more special because I am in a familiar space. I like to return to the same place and record the unique characteristics of the Loch on that day and also access the unique set of feelings and emotions I have. The Loch can make me feel sad as I remember those that have left me and the images of my earlier police career, but it can also make my heart sing through its unique character. But, photography is more than that to me. The camera is an extension of me. When I cradle it in my hands it becomes part of me and enables me to produce images from the heart.
SORAYA, Margaret. 2019. Quiet. Bosham Gallery, Chichester. 5 October-14 December 2019.