In Search of the Ephemeral Hiddenness of Skye
“The soul never thinks without a picture.” (Aristotle)
Focusing on detailed aspects of nature and spending time alone in the landscape allows me to reflect on my own inner life: the hurt and fracture – confronting the chaos of death and destruction during my time as a police photographer; the remnants and vulnerability of my youth and the solitude of adulthood when parents are gone. I use aspects of the natural world as metaphors for my feelings and emotions and use light and shade, luminosity and depth, shape and structure as a means of revealing the Skye that most visitors rarely see and locals often fail to notice.
My work is informed by philosophers such as Jose Ortega y Gasset, Harman, Meillassoux and Heidegger and influenced by painters including J M W Turner and Claude Monet. Photographic influencers include Fay Godwin, Ori Gersht, Iain Serjeant and Awioska van der Molen.
I am driven by a search for the ephemeral hiddenness of the Isle of Skye, those fleeting, transitory moments, and my photography seeks to capture that essence, rather than a simple visual and literal representation. I am not looking for the sublime and romantic depictions of the Island so many photographers produce but, a reflection of my personal experience of this beautiful part of north-west Scotland.
Looking through the lens of my experience I see the sea, lochs, mountains and moors – these are Skye’s sensible properties. It is not these I am seeking but those that transcend individual experience – the ‘otherness’ of its geography, the vulnerability of its ecology and its ephemeral hiddenness. I am searching for those passing moments, glimpses, transitory states when Skye reveals itself to me: its mystery, fragility and resilience – its essence. However, notwithstanding the various influences upon me, I seek to exploit the aesthetic voice of the camera by realising its fullest potential to capture what I would describe as the ‘eternal moment. In my view, unlike any other art form, the camera has the ability to translate, recognise and record the eternal moment. That is why I make my images in camera and do not subsequently seek to transform or idealise the reality of that moment through post-processing.