Na h-Eileanan

With my maternal grandmother's family having emigrated from Scotland in the 1800's, the country, it's history, and it's people have always had a strong familiar pull for me. Upon traveling to Scotland in the winter of 2015, in an attempt to thoroughly experience the people, culture, and land, I chose to remain in one place, on the Isle of Lewis and Harris in the remote Hebridean Islands. I remained on the island for three weeks, in the country for four.

The Hebrides are an ancient, lonely, quiet place. With history stretching back through Celt, Norse, and Neolithic peoples, pre-historic structures dot the landscape. There are few trees to break up the stretches of moorland and boulder fields. Mountains and hills and bogs and peat stretch for miles.  When confronted by the disquieting scale and silence of the landscape, this dramatic land defies even the most basic of human attempts to control perspective, and gain control.

Nightfall only serves to amplify this sense of robust immutability - as if the land is, while not necessarily fighting, merely disinterested in accommodating man. Through this project, entitled 'Na h-Eileanan' ('The Isles' in Scottish Gaelic), I have used the darkness to distill this ancient land down to it's most basic of topographical elements, while also calling to mind the long, mysterious, and sometimes even unknowable history of the islands themselves.

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