Rhue Art


Tanera (Ar Dłthaich):

Depicts the intricacies of living and working in a tiny rural community. Exploring the continually evolving relationship between people and the landscape in such communities; Tanera takes its name from an island in the Summer Isles archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. The few residents there have forged a thriving business, which not only values the heritage of the landscape itself, but also has an eye on modernity and ecological sustainability. Though it sounds idyllic, managing the island is time consuming, weather-dependent and costly.

Having made this work whilst living and working on the island, my intention was to elaborate on these difficulties, exploring widely held romantic notions about the Scottish landscape, whilst also trying to get under the surface to the everyday experience. The images attempt to show a ‘portrait of place’ through views, details and portraits of the people who contribute to the fabric of the island. I've always been fascinated by the way that humans leave traces and marks evident within the landscape; a calling card of their existence. Over time these traces build-up, layered on top of each-other forming a kind of catalogue of existence like a palimpsest. This becomes particularly evident in smaller, self-contained or continually populated landmasses, such as Tanera Mhor. With this work I wanted to explore both this rich past, as a Viking sanctuary and a fishing and crofting community, and it's current state and the people who are leaving their traces today. I felt in a privileged position; neither outsider, nor truly local resident- engaged in the community in a way, but still able to access a degree of objectivity. The intention was to encourage the viewer to reflect on the relationships evidenced and challenge some tropes about rural life.