The Ephemeral Hiddenness of Skye
“The soul never thinks without a picture.” (Aristotle)
I am driven by a search for the ephemeral hiddenness of the Isle of Skye. In my photography I seek to capture aspects of the real quality of the island that lies behind the sensory presence of its landscape and its ever-changing weather. I am not looking for the sublime and romantic depictions of the Island that so many photographers produce but, rather, a reflection of my personal experience of this beautiful part of north-west Scotland.
My work is informed by philosophers such as Jose Ortega y Gasset, Graham Harman, Quentin Meillassoux and Martin Heidegger and influenced by painters including as J M W Turner and Claude Monet. My photographic influencers include Fay Godwin, Ori Gersht, Iain Serjeant and Awioska van der Molen.
Looking through the lens of my experience I see the sea, lochs, mountains and moors as aspects of Skye’s sensible properties. It is not these I am seeking but those properties that transcend individual experience – the ‘otherness’ of its geography, the vulnerability of its ecology and its ephemeral hiddenness. I am searching for those moments when the veil is withdrawn and I glimpse the Island’s transcendent reality when Skye reveals itself to me: its mystery, fragility and resilience.
Focusing on detailed aspects of nature and spending time in the landscape allows me to reflect on aspects of 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 and locals fail to notice.