Ness

Ongoing series, 2009-present. Inverness, Highlands.

Inverness is the northernmost city in the UK, often referred to as the capital of the Highlands. 

Historically, it is an important city, lying close to two important battle sites: the 11th century battle of Blàr nam Fèinne against Norway and, more famously, the 18th century Battle of Culloden where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army, predominantly made up of Highlanders, was defeated by the Duke of Cumberland's loyalist forces. Inverness has also been called ‘the happiest place to live in Scotland’, and has seen a huge growth in population in recent years. 

In terms of personal history, the city is of equally importance. Inverness is the place where my wife grew up and her parents still live. More recently, our family relocated from London to the Highlands of Scotland. Because of this, my interest in photographing Inverness hinges on the domestic, emotional and microcosmic. Returning to Inverness reveals surprising developments: incremental shifts in the urban and rural landscapes, underpinned by the static fabric of the city and the natural beauty of its location.

Lacking the large format camera required to truly capture the sweeping panoramas of the Highlands, this photoseries shot using 35mm film offers a study of small-scale, largely-rural encounters with unusual or idiosyncratic objects. It is also a visual depiction of the apparent dichotomies between the natural world and the constructed - how individual identities are forged in environments which we outgrow, and which upon our return appear to have outgrown us: a relationship that exists in a permanent state of flux.