Made of flesh, Made of blood, Made of memories, Made of love,
This summer I took a cycle tour to Burghead travelling along the beach in front of Roseisle Forest to Findhorn. The soft sand on the beach made for slow progress on
I had a plan to photograph the Pill Box buildings still visible just above the tideline. I took my Zeiss Ikon Ikonta medium format camera which is contemporary to the period the buildings were made.
What struck me the most that although some of the buildings were sitting at odd angles they remained for the most part structurally intact. It was obvious that the position of the buildings had changed the sand of the dunes beneath where they had stood had eroded by the action of weather and tides. The buildings had sunk intact on their foundations and their tumble towards the sea had been imperceptible.
This weekend marks the 100 year anniversary of the Armistice and the end of the First World War. Less than 20 years later Europe was cast into another horrific conflict.
The structures I photographed are now 75 years old built partly to defend the beaches and as practice grounds for the D-Day landings. Their slow migration down the beach and the changing appearance of the dunes, the only sign that any time has passed. Built to withstand missiles and bombs they remain on the beach as a reminder of the madness of the industry of war.
My dad was born in 1937 he has described to me how the losses sustained in both world wars had profound affects on prosperity, both to individual families and society due in no small part to the sheer numbers of people that didn’t return.
I’m lucky enough to be part of a generation that hasn’t known war on the same scale but at the same time I’m surrounded by these reminders of this past.
I counted fourteen Pill Box structures just on this one stretch of beach from Burghead to Findhorn. I photographed them all. I think I could repeat the project at any number of locations throughout the country. I was struck by the contrast between these immovable, dense, cast concrete forms and the fragility of the landscape and the humanity these buildings were designed to protect.
I am living in the North East of Scotland and work in a variety of formats. I build and adapt cameras to make pinhole cameras that use Medium Format and 5×4 negative film and paper negatives. I like to experiment with all formats using vintage 35mm and Medium Format vintage cameras. I enjoy the creative freedom that is possible with pinhole photography this process seems to condense into the elements of “Light,Time,Perspective and Memory”. I also make use of digital, Gopro and phone cameras to document time spent in the environments that I enjoy. Projects tend to emerge from my other interests, trips into the mountains, trail/fell running annd wild swimming. My current focus is ‘The Gut” this is an area of salt marsh at the edge of Culbin Forest” Morayshire, this is an area that I spend a lot of time and find the history all along the Moray coast fascinating.