We all need a way of hearing our small, quiet voice within, so we can live a full life. For me, that way is being alone in nature’s quiet places. Solitary time is when my subconscious, creative mind comes to life and work can emerge from a place deep within.
The remote Scottish islands are the embodiment of all the values I uphold in my life and work. They are wild, peaceful places where I have time and space for myself. Alongside the solitude they give, their beautiful stretches of landscape touch the soul with their raw beauty.
I often stay on the islands for up to a week at a time, alone, waiting for conditions to be right. Mobile signal is often patchy or non-existent. A converted sprinter van gives me somewhere to sleep and cook, allowing me to be self-sufficient and free.
The image-making process is about the experience within the landscape. I have to experience aloneness; I must find that peaceful place that I go to whilst immersed in a landscape that speaks to me.
I find peace and revitalisation at the water’s edge, ironically often in wild and stormy conditions. Storms bring with them an absorption into the landscape like no other: a feeling of being fully alive and at peace, embracing the roaring seas, feeling the salt water and being whipped with a wind that wakes all the senses.
My mind is still, yards away from 12 foot waves crashing on the shore. The process is complete when an image is created which represents the state of mind rather than the literal translation of the scene: the calm in the storm.