>>COLLECTIONS ... ALASTAIR JACKSON, SKINIDIN, ISLE OF SKYE
Skinidin, Isle of Skye
The tiny township of Skinidin, in North-West Skye holds a special place for anyone who is connected
with it. My maternal grandparents lived there, and my mother and her siblings were all born there.
As a family, we used to make the short 3 mile journey every Saturday to visit my grandmother, and
my brother and I spent many hours exploring and playing, whilst helping out with chores as we got
Lacking high cliffs or majestic mountains, it has a quiet, understated beauty, and this provided a
technical challenge for me as a photographer. Secondarily, how to avoid becoming an exercise in
merely collecting nostalgic memories was my psychological challenge. To mitigate against this, I set
my self a number of parameters. Any viewpoints for shots had to be within OS Grid Square NG2247,
which is the 1km square where my grandparents’ house still stands. I would make sure that any junk
such as abandoned vehicles were captured so as not to show a sterile, lifeless landscape. The shots
were to be a balance of nature and the human impact on the landscape, so as to paint a realistic
picture of the place.
In addition to the above, as I also wanted to capture the different weather which shapes the Scottish
islands, this project has taken me a number of years to complete – nearly three in fact. Normally, I
work exclusively in monochrome, however on a couple of occasions, the light was so exquisite that it
had to be captured in colour.
In undertaking this project, it made me engage with a familiar place in a different way. From a high
viewpoint (the ‘Creag Mhor’) I really noticed the human footprint going back hundreds of years for
the first time, and made me think of the future.
About Alastair Jackson.
When I first picked up a camera eight years ago, it was with express intent of capturing my trips into the hills and mountains. I didn’t realise that it would very soon be a focus for driving the desire to capture the emotions of the coastal locations in the Isle of Skye, where I grew up. Being familiar with the history, people and language of the island has helped to put a particular kind of focus on the images, perhaps one which is not afforded to others less acquainted with some of the particular nuances of the place.
I have no desire to romanticise the island, as it really can do that itself quite well, so I seek to capture the coast in all weathers and not leave out the human marks on the landscape. Working primarily in mono means having to work hard at capturing the shapes and forms of the island, although for this project I have allowed myself some forays into colour imagery!
Find out more about Alastair Jackson's work.