2010 in review, and the year ahead.
The last 12 months have been some of the most productive and creative so far of my journey into photography. They have also been some of the most hectic as I try and balance my full time job as an archivist with trying to develop my creative projects. In some ways this has made things slightly more difficult, however it makes me appreciate the time that I do have more, and helps to drive me harder. In 2010 I have been lucky to have had the support, friendship and encouragement of many people and without them this year could have turned out very differently indeed. I just wanted to take a few minutes to thank them and what they helped me achieve this year.
2010 got off to a good start when I was announced the winner of the Dewar Award. The award allowed me to travel extensively throughout Scotland to reach locations such as the Orkney Islands, the North East & West, and allowed me to take a few weeks off of work to concentrate on my practice. It will allow me to do the same in 2011 when I hope to visit the Outer Hebrides, Mull and St Kilda which had to be put on hold this year due to the weather. The award was made possible due to the hard work of Rachel at the Dewar Awards who was of great help during the application process.
In March I had my biggest and most important exhibition of the year when ‘Sonnets’ was shown at the Scottish Parliament in a solo exhibition. I was honoured to have my work exhibited in Scotland’s most prestigious venue, and was helped along the way by the exhibitions team most notably Alan who has been and continues to be a great supporter of my work. I was delighted when several Members of Parliament (MSPs) from all parties put their names on a daily Parliamentary motion celebrating my work, most notably my local MSP Irene Oldfather, who suggested I show at the venue.
Shortly after the excitement of the Parliament, It was announced that I was one of the winners of the Scottish Art Fund Award, which allowed me to upgrade my equipment, and was of great help during my Dewar Funded journey around Scotland. This was followed with several days of location shooting in Skye with the director Michael Prince who made a short film ‘Sonnets of Scotland‘ about my work which you can watch here. It was great fun working with him and Mark Huskisson – two talented individuals who between them have created films about artists such as photographers Brian Griffin, Rankin and exciting films about mountain biking, such as Mark’s must see film Way Back Home about world champion Danny Macaskill.
In July I was invited down to the Italian Cultural Institute in London as a finalist of The Renaissance Art Prize ‘Heroism of Vision’ photography award. I was delighted to receive the award of a Residency in Tuscany in May 2011, and was thankful for all the hard work done by the committee, most notably Alessandra Masolini of the art group Sharp Cut who was chair. In August I embarked on several Sonnets journeys around the country, and later that summer had the good fortune to study under photographer Carl Radford, who taught me alternative processes such as Wet Plate Collodion which have really caught my imagination, and which I hope to incorporate into my own work in 2011. Carl has also given me friendly advice and guidance, as well as introduced me to the work of photographers such as Deborah Parkin who is no doubt destined for great things.
Towards the end of 2010 I was invited by curator Michelle Browne to exhibit at the TULCA Visual Festival of Art in Galway, and spent several happy days taking in the work of the artists, scenery and people of the South West Coast of Ireland. There were also commercial projects such as covering the Minimal Music Festival in Glasgow, portraits of authors at Glasgow University, and of course working with poet Edwin Morgan who sadly passed away this year after his 90th birthday.
I am greatly thankful to my printer James Gaughan of Deadly Digital who has produced some excellent quality prints, as well as helped when everything has gone wrong, such as when one of my images was destroyed in transit to the exhibition in Galway, and he was able to produce a replacement in only a few hours, as well as replacing a 2 metre wide print another printer damaged. Most of all I am grateful to Henning who has accompanied me throughout my journey, driven, modelled, climbed hills, stood on cliffs, froze in Lochs, and generally been a good friend. I’m also grateful to all the people who write to me on flickr, Facebook and twitter as well as email me on the site.
2011 will begin with the 10 year anniversary of the Dewar Award, which will include a ceremony with a screening of the Sonnets from Scotland film by Michael Prince at the Glasgow Film Theatre, an article written by myself in the Spring Edition of Scottish Photographers Magazine, the completion of Sonnets, a possible book, a project with the Bergen Belsen Museum in Germany, a new project which I’ll currently just call Symphonies, my B&W project Ohne, and a project documenting a rather remote location in Scotland. I’ll also try to keep this blog updated, and maybe even write a few articles on my thoughts on photography.
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read this, and I wish all of you a successful and enjoyable 2011!